DEPATURE [dih-pahr-cher] noun the action of leaving, especially to start a journey.
Artists often create works based on their memorable experiences. Some of those experiences are joyous, while others are unfortunately tragic. For me, one of my most enjoyable and memorable experiences is traveling with my family. I love seeing new things, meeting new people, trying new foods, and, most importantly, sharing those experiences with my loved ones. This work, Departure, is a continuation of the environment I created in one of my other works, Wanderlust—written for horn, tuba, and piano. Unlike Wanderlust, this work is not about the journey, but the anticipation of the departure itself. The anxiety and excitement that one feels before we leave to travel someplace new.
The piece starts with an exciting, bouncy rhythm that works its way throughout the whole piece. As this nervous energy almost skips around the ensemble, a fragmented melody is passed through each member of the group. These melodic and rhythmic motifs take many twists and turns as the excitement for the trip grows. This excitement is interrupted by a moment of rest, almost as if the piece is sleeping the night before the trip. Although the music calms, it is a manipulation of the opening thematic material. As we hear this subdued development, a constant pulse is heard in the percussion as if it were the second hand of a clock ticking away and reminding us of the slow passage of time. Finally the moment of departure arrives and the opening music returns but fragmented, almost schizophrenic, leading us to that triumphant moment when our feet hit the dirt, the wheels lift off the ground, or the train leaves the station.
Todd Goodman’s Departure was originally scored for trombone, tuba, and piano quartet and was commissioned by Sérgio Carolino and Hugo Assunção. The wind ensemble version of Departure was written for Mark Stickney and the Seacoast Wind Ensemble.