Life Signs was composed in 1988 at the request of Alan Berman for his group Signs of Life. It was written for the memory of Genevieve Gordon, wife of the great trumpeter, conductor and teacher Claude Gordon. Genny was like a second mother to many of Claude’s students and was taken much too soon by the terrible flu that ravaged Big Bear in 1988. This piece was not written to depict her but rather to honor her name and life.
I tend to demur from discussing “how the sausage was made” (or how it should taste to you personally) in my program notes, likewise in my extra-musical performance instructions. I prefer you sit back, relax, and let the music wash over you and take you on the ride. Close your eyes if you want. Enjoy the journey.