for Brass Quintet
Duration: ca. 18'
Instrumentation: brass quintet (two trumpets, French horn, trombone, bass trombone or tuba)
Commissioned by the American Brass Quintet and Rick Teller
World Premiere: American Brass Quintet, Aspen Music Festival, Harris Concert Hall, July 28, 2015.
World Premiere Recording: Perspectives, American Brass Quintet, Summit Records, DCD 692, 2017.
Publisher: Bill Holab Music
My father is a sculptor who worked with bronze, so as a child, I was always hanging around the foundry at the school where he taught, watching him cast bronze sculptures by pouring crucibles of molten metal into giant molds. In many ways, this is probably what caused me to have an affinity for brass instruments and metallic percussion instruments such as bells. There’s just something about metal, and the sounds metal instruments make, that I find very captivating.
Shine is in four movements and explores colorful aspects of four different types of metal: brass, gold, mercury and steel. The first movement, Ringing Brass Bells, is bell-like from beginning to end, with brief episodes of repeated note flourishes, creating a sort of brief fanfare. The title of this movement is also a double entendre, referring the the bells of the brass instruments. The second movement, Quicksilver, is scherzo-like and fast. In this movement, I explore colorful, metallic sonorities using a variety of mutes and fast trills, and the movement gradually rises in tessitura from beginning to end like mercury rising in a thermometer. The third movement, Veins of Gold, is a slow movement that begins and ends softly, and focuses on the melodic capabilities of each instrument, almost like a mini concerto for brass quintet. The last movement, Bright Blue Steel. is powerful and fast from beginning to end, and contains runs that emulate something moving at a very fast speed. The term ‘blue steel’ refers to the color "steel blue," and also refers to a tempering process in metallurgy used to reduce brittleness and increase toughness in objects made of steel.
Shine was commissioned by the American Brass Quintet and with generous support from Rick Teller.