WORKS COMMISSIONED

Fallacies

 

by Whitney E. George (whitneygeorge.com)

 

Commissioned by the NYTC.

 

Premiere: ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, NY: May 16, 2014

 

 

Selva Obscura

 

by Jay (Yair) Vilnai (vilnaismusic.com)

 

Commissioned by the NYTC.

 

Premiere: Dimenna Center for Classical Music, New York City, September 26, 2013

 

Selva Obscura is concerned with the unique sonic world of the trombone choir. Unfolding slowly, the different instruments blend and melt in and out of a spare, solitary texture. As it progresses, rhythmic activity increases, the texture thickens and a plethora of sounds emerges from the initial idea. Sounds move through the space, enveloping the listener and creating an immersive experience of timbre, rhythm and place.

Balls Deep: Jugglers on Acid

by John Chittum (johnchittum.com)

 

Commissioned by the NYTC. 

 

Premiere: Dimenna Center for Classical Music, New York City, September 26, 2013

 

The title Balls Deep: Jugglers on Acid comes from a continuously growing list of crazy phrases I've heard or spoken, and are deemed worthy of becoming a piece title. Musically, Balls Deep explores the range of expression found in the trombone consort. The piece begins contemplatively, like a group feeling each other out. It builds into a frenzy of motion, with repeated notes and quick interchanges between instruments. This begins to fall apart before ending in a fairly "traditional" manner. For those that are interested in such things, the following is a more "technical" breakdown of material. If you're not interested, please, skip the paragraph. Rest assured, it won't particularly alter your experience, but some people really like the nitty-gritty details.

 

Balls Deep utilizes a small set of interval vector relationship, run through simple permutations based upon the spectral makeup of a tenor trombone playing the intervals starting on Bb. This creates a tight set which sounds tonal in many places, but the piece itself is not constructed around that type of hierarchy. The rhythmic relationships are also based upon the same set of numbers (the beauty of numbers--they mean whatever I feel like them meaning in a piece), focusing on amount of repetition, relationships between voices, and macro- and micro-organizational parameters.

 

But the numbers don't make the piece music-- they're just a way for me to reign in my wandering mind. Instead, listen to this piece for the enjoyment of five trombone players getting to show off all the things trombones can do best, and a few fun tricks that make for what I believe is an enjoyable experience. 

Fratres

by Ellen O'Meara

 

Commissioned by the NYTC. 

 

Premiere: Dimenna Center for Classical Music, New York City, September 26, 2013

 

Fratres is a composition by Arvo Pärt.  Pärt composed Fratres in 1977 originally for string quartet and wind quartet, and then continued to create arrangements of the piece for a collection of different instrumentations including: strings and percussion, string quartet, violin and piano and several other versions.  I arranged Fratres for trombone quintet using the variations from the piece that were most idiomatic to the five individual trombones and to the ensemble as a whole.