Digital Sketch To Live Performance - Trombone Feature

Trombone Solo with Concert Band Accompaniment

Creative Vision for the Track:

  • The journey from winter through spring into a joyous summer.
  • Written for myself to showcase my arranging, trombone playing, jazz
  • Performed during our lighter, outdoor summer concerts

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):

  • Begins in Eb major before modulating to C
  • Three distinct “feels” – A floating introduction, slow reflective second chorus, swinging jazz waltz final section
  • Each section is reharmonized to reflect the style of the moment
  • Introduction masks time (hearing count one is a bad thing!) to enhance the ethereal nature of the first section
  • Compositionally I use the opening major second interval from the melody to build the different instrumental entrances as well as fragmenting the melody over the opening measures
  • A favorite technique of mine is to interject duple feeling in triple meter and vice versa (hemeola feeling). In the jazz waltz I often interrupt the walking bass (in 3) with two concerted dotted quarter note chords

Main Instruments used:
All generated from Finale using their Garritan sounds


Question 1: To Sketch Or Not To Sketch?
My workflow involves a lot of sketching. While I don’t always have the luxury of time I definitely prefer using a sketch.

In this case I experimented with various settings on my Kurzweil to find settings and ideas I liked. Once I found the introduction setting I couldn’t get it out of my head and found it was impeding my process on writing the concert band score for live, non-digital musicians! I ended up taking the time to flesh out the digital sketch in order to scrub it from my ears (sometimes I can’t get something out of my head until I’ve written it down) so I could get on with the task at hand!

I’ll include a link to the digital intro below.

Do you work with / prefer working from a sketch?

Question 2: How Do You Port Digital Ideas Into The “Analog” World?
As I found with this particular piece I was enamored with the digital mock up. It took some doing but I was able to take the essence of the digital mockup and capture at least most of it in the band score.

How do you move your digital ideas and concepts into the analog realm?

I’ve included the digital mockup (named “It Might Be Spring”) and a link to a video of the solo trombone part (with jazz chord symbols for harmonic reference) below.

Enjoy the music! I look forward to your comments and experiences!


“It Might Be Spring” - Audio mock up
“It Might As Well Be Spring” – Video of Solo Trombone Part

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