Among the many great conversations I had a few weeks ago before the premiere of Rock Island Line with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra was a brief interview with Barney Sherman of Iowa Public Radio. Barney followed up with a great blog post, “Iowa Orchestras Make Music - About Iowa.”
He did not want his Mississippi to sound like Smetana’s Moldau, a deeply moving depiction of Bohemia’s great river. (Ironically, Smetana borrowed the Moldau’s main tune from Swedish folk music, but never mind.) Bancks’s piece also refers to Quad Cities native Bix Beiderbecke and to the sounds of trains. More than that, he tries to capture that expansive feeling you get when you look out over the Quad Cities -an experience everyone should make a point of having! I find it indescribable (it’s part of why I love the Quads), and I can’t wait to hear how Bancks makes us feel it in his music.