The Wild, Wild West was composed for the h2 quartet, who recorded the work in 2008. Strongly influenced by the unique grandeur of the American Southwest, this work is also an abstract homage to the great American composer Aaron Copland. The Wild, Wild West begins (as does Copland's Billy the Kid) on “The Open Prairie,” with the wind blowing tumbleweed across the desert.
Open fifths create the primary harmonic material of the piece, which uses (very loosely) a handful of American folk songs as melodic material. Yet despite some traditional references this short work retains an explicitly 21st century perspective; the distinctive colors and characteristics of the sax quartet are used to carve out sound images analogous to my visual impressions of the rugged and remarkable Western landscape.