The expression of my orchestral piece Slam for Symphony Orchestra (2018/2021) was inspired by sports. It is extrovert, rhythmic and energetic. With musical connotations to ball sports on different levels, it utilizes the harmonic, melodic, rhythmical and orchestration methods of contemporary art music. Duration is 8-9 min., depending of the realisations the short conducted, guided and orchestrated improvisatory passages.
In 2018 the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra kindly wanted to commission an orchestral piece from me, to be premiered at the new Kupittaa Ball Game Hall in a free admission mega-concert Symphony for the Ball Game Hall! organized by the orchestra with Nick Davies as conductor. They threw in a suggestion that I would adopt ball sports (such as basketball, volleyball or badminton) as a theme for the new piece. I came up with the idea that the artistic theme for the piece would be ball sports as a cultural phenomenom in general and especially the thrilling basketball slam dunk. Hence the title Slam Dunk for Symphony Orchestra and two Basketball Players.
I integrated into Slam Dunk an interactive sports culmination; by the end of the piece two basketball players perform a Slam Dunk Battle, guided by the Master of Ceremonies (MC), in interaction with the orchestra (through the conductor). In front of the orchestra there has to be reserved some extra space and a professional basketball hoop with a backboard, with top of the hoop 305 cm above the floor, is to be installed.
Slam is an adaptation of the essential music of Slam Dunk. All extramusical elements and requirements have been stripped off so that the music, which was very warmly received by the 2600-member audience in the premiere, could be performed in any normal symphony concert as an independent orchestral piece of its own right. I hope you enjoy it!
Max Savikangas 2021 Instrumentation
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