Invention on a Transit Theme - (2019)
for my brother, Gordon, a rail and film enthusiast
While awaiting a Gold Line light rail train in Monrovia, a jaunty musical snippet played in announcing arrivals caught my attention. My brother observed that it was the same little phrase which a silent film score by Robert Israel used in the Harold Lloyd comedy, "The Freshman." Having heard and known some of the last silent film organists from a bygone era, Israel commented on Gaylord Carter, whose accompaniments I heard on a number of occasions. Additionally the little gesture is included as an episodic "lick" in the "Three Blind Mice" theme song, in an arrangement which underscored the title and credits for many "Three Stooges" films.
So, linking the Metro use of this musical phrase at the Monrovia station with my brother's musical remembrance of the snippet leaves me still wondering how the transit authority chose the six-note theme. Nonetheless, for this confluence of things rail and film and musical memory, I choose the theme to fashion an invention on it.
3 pages, circa 3' 00" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.
Invention on a Transit Theme