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Midtown Music (2013)

Premiere of Midtown Music, Shepherd School of Music
Premiere of Midtown Music, Shepherd School of Music

Instrumentation: Brass sextet: 2 trumpets in C, 2 horns in F, tenor trombone, bass trombone

Duration:  ca. 5:30

Commissioned by: Musiqa of Houston

Premiere: 03.13.2014 at Shepherd School of Music, Houston, TX and 03.28.2014 at Market Square Park, Houston, TX

Program Notes: Midtown Music wascommissioned by Houston’s contemporary music group, Musiqa, for their Market Square brass project. The work was conceived as a short fanfare for a mid-day performance up in the bell tower, against the backdrop of JoAnn Fleischhauer’s art installation entitled What Time Is It?. The mirror panels are represented aurally in antiphonal (canonical) figures between instruments that repeat one another as well as in contrary motion between two instruments. The gradual shifting backlit images on the clock faces are depicted in the recurring quarter tone oscillations throughout the instruments as well and the spiral staircase can be heard in various ascending figures. The piece is centered around B flat in the key moments as my pre-planning visit to the bell tower revealed the bell’s harmonic makeup to be mostly a B flat fundamental tone and it’s corresponding partials.

"What Time Is It?" installation, 2013, by Jo Ann Fleischhauer. (Photo by Alexander's Fine Portrait Design)
“What Time Is It?” 2013, installation by Jo Ann Fleischhauer. (Photo by Alexander’s Fine Portrait Design)

Listen to Midtown Music below performed live by Phillip Hembre and David Sedgwick, trumpets, Nathanael Udell and Andrew DuComb, horns, Ryan Rongone, trombone, Rick Stiles, bass trombone, Daniel Knaggs, conductor: