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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.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Emoticons Movement I

My latest composition is a three-movement composition for tuba/euphonium quartet called Emoticons. It is being composed as a result of a commissioning consortium consisting of the Tarnished Brass - Rowlett, TX, the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, NC, the Triangle Tuba Quartet - Durham, NC, the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN, and Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS. More groups are welcome to the join the consortium as the deadline for expressing interest has been extended until June 30, 2015. For more information, please visit http://www.cooppress.net

During the writing of this composition, I was saddened to learn of the untimely and tragic  passing of one of the participants, Kelly G. Thomas, tuba professor at the the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Therefore this composition is dedicated to the consortium and is written in memory of Kelly G. Thomas.

The idea behind Emoticons is to symbolically represent emotions. The first movement was to be Jealousy, but once the movement was completed, Bravura seemed to fit it better. What was to be a movement where each instrument tried to outdo the others turned into a dazzling display of self-confidence. The movement opens with a statement of self-confidence by the entire quartet that is interrupted by tubas then the euphoniums each showing their strength. The section at measure 23 has each of the euphoniums playing "bravura" lines over a staccato tuba accompaniment. The section at 35 reverses the roles and the two tuba parts are in canon. A dotted eighth and sixteenth note pyramid figure is introduced at measure 31 and becomes an important part of the movement. It is as if each instrument was saying "here I am." The movement continues to develop using these ideas and variations of these ideas and somewhat resembles an arch form.

Your comments are always appreciated.

Dr. B

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