This piece stems from a story that is personal to me, but to which many can probably relate. Although I will not tell the story in this public format, what I will say is that its roots are fed through deep feelings of loss and betrayal. At the time of writing this piece I was very angry, lonely, and vulnerable. At the same time, a bass trombone playing friend of mine, Nick Schwartz, was looking for a piece to play on his graduation recital, and I felt that an opportunity for catharsis had fallen into my lap. It’s a shame I didn’t finish the piece in time for Nick to perform it, but it helped me navigate through the psychological minefield in a way that nothing else could. Who needs meds when you have composition!
Performances of this work should alternate between being on the edge of control, quiet rage, despondency, yearning for solace, and everything in-between. It is truly a case of the extremes. That being said, take advantage of the peaceful moments: the brief respites of clarity inside the maelstrom of noises that precede and follow. It is fully intended to be at the edge of what’s possible, and an air of the frenetic will not be out of place. Above all, however, this piece is triumphant. We all get over it, in the end.
- Bass Trombone