Reverie for Horn and Piano was commissioned by Ashley Gulbranson for the Phoenix Project: From the Ashes, and is designed to address the challenges a player might face when recovering from focal dystonia. Parameters that are carefully considered in the writing include: range from middle C to top line F, frequent rest, mostly scalar melodic lines, avoidance of large upward leaps, fast passages that are slurred, use of the overtone series, and relative freedom with initial attacks. While the piece is not about focal dystonia, it is meant to be an accessible and musically fulfilling work for affected players. This piece is also appropriate for players facing limitations related to braces, embouchure changes, embouchure injuries, and other neuromuscular challenges.
The title, Reverie for Horn and Piano, refers to the idea of a dream and the divergent scenes dreams might have. The opening motif sets a mysterious tone and returns between dream scenes to unite each of the parts. While the composer has no specific program attached to the music, her intent is that performers will assign their own stories to each section, creating a personal narrative. The music is written with particular flavors that are designed to evoke certain images or personal feelings, which can then be tailored to each performer’s story. When learning the piece, it is recommended that players identify their story and focus on telling their tale through their own interpretation of the music.