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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

American Vignettes for Brass Quintet Movement 1

Hello readers. I have been silent for a while because I am on a six-week tour doing presentations at colleges, universities, and conferences and hearing premieres of my music. I am managing to compose while traveling and camping in my little van. I have a USB powered one and a half octave keyboard (M-Audio's Oxygen 8) connected to my laptop and I am set to go.

The piece I am writing now is a six-movement composition for the Lyric Brass Quintet of Pacific Lutheran University. This faculty ensemble is putting together a CD of American music composed during the 20th and 21st Centuries for a recording project through Emeritus Recordings. They asked me to compose a piece with Americana influences and to feature a different member of the quintet in each movement. I am calling the piece "American Vignettes".

The first movement is a Hoedown and features the first trumpet. I use fragments and elaborations of "Old Chisholm Trail" and "Short'nin Bread" as the melodic material during the movement. Since this is the opening movement, I started with a fanfare section that treats all the brass equally. It contains quartal and tertian harmony as well as syncopation and call and response. From M 11-35, phrases from "Old Chisholm Trail" are broken up by a rhythmic accompaniment and a muted trumpet insert that gets more intrusive during the entire movement, as is it was competing for attention with the solo first trumpet. M 35-60 gets rolling without interruptions (except for the muted 2nd trumpet) with variants of both tunes and frequently modulates. An extended version of the opening re-occurs at M 60-74. More variants follow with modulations occurring more often as the movement builds to the coda that begins a M 112. The Coda recaps earlier material and finishes with a final flourish for the solo trumpet.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/american_vignettes_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

1 comment:

Melobeau said...

I really like the Hoedown! All the various bits work so well together. I think it will be enjoyable to play AND to listen to.