for saxophone quartet
While composing "The Robosax", I reflected on how I would find myself entirely surrendered by computers and other types of technological devices. I realized how dependent we are, on technology in our contemporary times, while at the same time being almost cut off from nature and our natural state as human beings because of this dependency.
"The Robosax" can perhaps remind us of the type of electronic music that can be heard at clubs around the world. As a teaching assistant in Digital Music at the University of Texas, while I was writing the piece, I was busy grading many student composition projects that were entirely composed by popular music elements.
The poem dovetails with my composition's overall message, in that it addresses the fact that humanity, across time, has yet to discover happiness on a large scale, while advances in technology have allowed us to look at worlds far beyond our own. Within the text I have used, a duality exists in terms of it being sung by robots, while later it is sung by humans. I achieved this by reversing the text of the poem, which conveys an unknown and odd feeling of the language.
Also, there are several foot/kickable percussion performed by the saxophonists themselves, which, in a way, indicates how far robots are able to advance in terms of various performance abilities; however, the one thing they are all lacking, and which comes across in the piece during its robotic-sounding moments, is a clear lack of soul.
The Formula for Happiness
Has not by Man been found --
Yet Satellites are sent in search
Of Worlds that lie Beyond.
Poem by Joe Flores