Brass Quintet (6:25) - October 1998


This piece was written for Pinnacle Brass and performed at Convocation in November 1998. It was an experiment with odd-meters and rhythms, while trying to keep it accessible to everyone in the group. The piece opens with a slow "static" introduction. The low brass create an unmoving ostinato while the trumpets play the motives of the piece. After a slight build, it becomes subdued again, almost chant-like.

The next section is in 10/8 with a smattering of 8/8 and 6/8. At first, I was afraid that the quintet might have trouble with such an odd mix of duple and triple, but they took to it very quickly. After a complex melody played by the second trumpet and passed around, the slow tempo from the beginning returns. The horn plays a sweeter melody over the original ostinato which leads to an odd sequence of motives which leads back to the 8 beat feel.

After a spiffy 14/8 bar, the melody returns, played an octave higher by the second trumpet. This leads to a more standard 8/8 section which feels much like 4/4. The trumpets get higher and higher until the first "plays that ridiculously high note" Eb (as quoted by Dr. Bachelder). Suddenly, the broken-leg-runner feel breaks into a standard 6/8 which brings down the tension and settles again. After a pause, the orginal monotony returns, and it is with this that the piece ends.

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