Concert Piece; Instrumental; Low Brass Choir
Creative Vision for the Track:
“Contemplation” was written palindromically with the slow, ruminative section written first.
Since it represented someone wrestling with a thought or seeking a solution I should build things into it for someone to reflect upon. The opening section gets progressively more complex until it comes to a point where the protagonist needs to step back and think about what’s going on.
As an idea comes to mind they continue to mull it over. It starts morphing into something actionable and tangible. We return to the outside world for the ending armed with our insights and solutions in hand.
Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Written for and premiered by the Minneapolis Trombone Choir in 2018.
I started writing this for brass choir (4 trumpets, 4 French horns, 4 trombones, 1 euphonium, 1 tuba). As a deadline approached for a new Minneapolis Trombone Choir (MTC) composition I rescored and expanded it for trombone choir. After this performance I went back and completed the brass choir version for the Wild Prairie Brass.
To achieve the effect of the idea coming together I used a series of duets within the horns that were repeated against themselves. I also varied the tuba / bass line and change the orchestrations slightly for the key changes. The key changes come more frequently and the registers ascend to add a sense of motion and arrival at the conclusion that “hey, this idea might actually work!”.
Note the euphonium / tuba octave melody against the rhythmic ostinatos in the trombones.
The MTC welcomes all players of all proficiencies from pro to college to high school. There is a fermata on a high Eb in Trombone 1 I knew the pros on the stand could cut. In the performance some high schoolers decided they, too, could reach that note. You’ll notice it was a valiant try but they didn’t quite cut it.
You’ll also notice the phasing due to the width of the ensemble. We were side wall to side wall as you can see. I did my utmost to lock them in but at the end of the day this was a live performance and things like that happen.
Main Instruments used:
Tenor trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani