The Help Me Rondo

Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello, gong, piano (1995)

The Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble asked me for a piece that played off the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” however, the Turtle Island String Quartet beat me to it. Instead I borrowed themes from “Help Me Rhonda.” There’s a theatrical aspect to the tune: midway through the fugatto section, the percussionist drops his music and calls for help. The other musicians ignore him, however he recovers and rejoins them at the piano with a timely glissando.