Moments for flute/piccolo, cello, bass trombone and percussion (2012)
II. Moderato; Asynchronus; Tempo primo
III. Più mosso
IV. Meno mosso
Moments is written for bass trombonist J.J. Cooper. Initially, he asked for a chamber ensemble piece for three to seven instruments, with the intention to add music to the repertoire that features a bass trombone. The purpose is not to showcase the bass trombone’s soloistic capability, but to demonstrate that this instrument is able to perform as an equal member of a mixed ensemble. The idea of a multi-movement piece quickly came to my mind, where each movement (or one can conceive them as miniature pieces) captures a different moment of time, much like a photograph, or abstract images that seem to be familiar but hard to grasp.
The first movement uses a vertically constructed sonority that is reinstated in fragments, and sustained through resonances of the instruments. The second movement is more linear in terms of the harmonic structure, and focuses on the transition between images. If the first movement is an image of a moment, the second movement would be layers of images of many moments. The third movement explores a wide frequency range; the instruments do not interact with each other, but play as if they are one instrument. The last movement is the most elaborate out of the four, where it shows off the virtuosity of the ensemble and its timbral possibility.
The four instruments in this piece display four different voices/personalities. They can stand out as soloistic voices or blend in with each other. They are like layers of memory fragments. Sometimes, they are overlapped to create thicker layers; other times, they are simply separate and not interactive.
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