Gargoyles is a section of a larger piece called Slipstream, written for wind band, harpsichord, and bass. When I heard about the theme of this particular Delian Suite (No. II), I cast through my mind for anything I had already written that might fit the bill. This section of Slipstream (one of about eight distinct sections) has all the characteristics that evoke the "spooks, spirits, and sprites" theme, it seems to me. I looked around for a collection of gargoyles from various sources on the internet (all photos are free-use) and put together this collage of cool gargoyle images that captured my imagination. What really counts to me, which is reflected nicely in my music, is the variety of personalities they all project. All the gargoyles represent spirits, imps, sprites, and other mythical and magical characters that people have been fascinated with for centuries, and the music seems to catch some of their attitudes. They are devious, sinister, mysterious, unpredictable, dangerous, wild, crazy, frightening, and stimulate one's inner anxieties about just about everything. My music reflects all these characteristics in one way or another. My own odd photo can be thought of as "the composer as benign gargoyle."
The piece is just under three minutes in length, and it is written for the instruments listed below from my computer-based collection of instrumental voices found in the Garritan Personal Orchestra and the Garritan Jazz Big Band. I tried hard to add some interesting dynamics and color for the music, and I believe that these digitally sampled instrumental sounds are the best and most flexible I've had available thus far. It sounds rather musical and responsive to me, and I'm hoping all of you will enjoy listening to these sounds with enough suspension of disbelief to start "hearing" real instruments playing this music. It was fun to put together, and I hope you agree that this adds a bit of variety to the suite, reflecting the wide differences in styles and interests that the Delian members exhibit. I enjoyed finding instrumental sounds that made for colorful differences, especially in the woodwinds. The brass sounds are a little disappointing to me, but I may be able to learn how to make them sound better with more practice. The instruments featured are: E-flat clarinet, alto sax, French horn, English horn, bass clarinet, bassoon, four trumpets, four trombones, harpsichord, and bass. A great combo, I hope you'll agree. Sort of a hybrid jazz band instrumentation.