In specific cities* (2016)
Composer: James O'Callaghan
Saxophone quartet (SATB) and electronics

In specific cities

In specific cities attempts to pose the question: are the sounds of individual cities generic, or are they unique? The short answer is certainly ‘both’, but examining that duality through music offers an occasion to consider the ways our environments shape us, the way we are connected through shared aural experiences and made individual through unique ones. The work situates field recordings from various cities with transcriptions and transformations of them for the saxophone quartet. We might consider saxophones as quintessentially urban instruments, born of the industrial revolution: in In specific cities, their mechanical qualities are emphasised and compared to exhaust pipes, car horns, engines, sirens, brakes, and bells.

In specific cities was commissioned by Quasar with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.