|Genre Categories||; ; ;|
|Work Title||A Boy in San Francisco|
|Composer||Shuey, Michael Gabriel Edouard|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IMS 7|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||2001|
|Dedication||To my love, Kristine|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||1 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Extra Information||Late romantic style. Multi-part story.|
As part of my University experience I spent 1-year abroad in a French engineering school, ENSMA in Poitiers. While the year proved to grow me in many ways and help “find myself”, I can’t say I wrote much music. This was largely because I didn’t have access to a computer, which I had become accustomed to putting my music in notational software at this point. I was however courting Kristine (whom I later married) writing with large volumes of hand-written letters. I would write up to 3 letters a week, and each week I’d find a way to make a gift. The gifts ranged from hand-made puzzles to platinum-coated jet engine turbine blades, and at some point I turned back to music. For this purpose, I wanted to make something very different from my previous compositions. I also wanted it to be something that if successful could be continued over and over. My solution was to write purposely short pieces of music. My thought was to make a “character story” out of the music. With this in mind, I let my mind compose before moving to the piano. Very strangely, I turned to more late Romantic style, a music style I wasn’t usually interested in. Nevertheless, the style fit nicely to build my story-piece, so I went with it. In my imagination, this music opens as a foggy scene of a not-too busy city corner perhaps early 20th century San Francisco. A boy is sitting down against a wall. He is holding his hands around his knees looking down at the ground. Is he poor and homeless, or just resting? The “camera” point of view pans around and cuts out. That is the basis of “A Boy in San Francisco part 1”. In my letter to Kristine I remember writing, “Who is he, we don’t know, but I think he feels like running”.
In part 2, we find the boy running and skipping down the streets, happily playing and having fun. Sweet, simple and short.
I meant to write more but I haven't yet. Kristine was actually in San Francisco when I was writing my small “character pieces”. To my demise with this endeavor, she had no access to a piano and never played part 1 until months later. I had been impatiently awaiting feedback in writing so I could send part 2, which I had written shortly after sending part 1.