for saxophone and electronics

The original version of this work was composed for TRUMPET AND ELECTRONICS and was commissioned by Wim Van Hasselt in 2011 for his new CD with the same title.
Wim Van Hasselt is professor of trumpet at the University of Music in Freiburg.

Wim Henderickx also made a version of this work for Saxophone and later for TENOR RECORDER and for BASS FLUTE.

The main source of inspiration was the famous novel 'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac, a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across America in the fifties of last century.

The electronics in this work create a flowing bourdon, a carpet of sound on which the trumpet evokes an oriental melody.

Eastern philosophy also served as an inspiration for this composition, as in Wim Henderickx's TANTRIC CYCLE, a seven-part series composed between 2004 and 2010.

More info about the work:

From a melodic phrase, circling round the tone C, a melody develops which gradually creates the illusion that it is moving towards two and even three voices. The listener will experience this as if one saxophone player is performing these three lines simultaneously. Glissandi evolve steadily in repeated staccato tones, almost like a morse code. The second part starts from the deep register of the saxophone, as a kind of mantra, with a high morse-like melody in the second voice.

In the third section the glissandi will be elaborated more and more. The suggestion of main melody versus echo forms the basis of this part. The final section starts again from the main tone C, to fade gradually in the low register of the instrument. Then also the electronics slowly decay.

The electronics were developed with short sound elements of the saxophone, such as staccato tones, glissando tones etc., circling and microtonally fluctuating around the tone C. 'On the Road' has a meditative atmosphere and at certain moments the composer wants to create the impression that it concerns a structured improvisation.


Available with Wim Henderickx


Norsk Musikforlag (publisher)



ON THE ROAD for saxophone and electronics
(+/- 9')
premiere: Conservatoire Antwerp, January 22, 2012
Hans de Jong, alto saxophone