Three Pictures for Tuba and Marimba

premiered by Lukas Schroeder and Makenzie Mattis @ Octubafest V, No. 2, GVSU 1410, Nov. 4th, 2016

Three Pictures for Tuba and Marimba (11’30”) was written for Lukas and Makenzie. They have been long-time collaborators in jazz combos, wind bands, and our rock band, The Lake Effects, and we agreed that it would be fun to tackle a new genre. The piece was conceptualized and sketched during a stay in Missouri for a music conference and festival, at which I found myself with ample free time in a new and interesting environment.

The first movement, “Between a church and a highway in the foothills of the Missouri River” is built around a couple of riffs that fluctuate between parallel major and minor keys–a sort of suspended modality that becomes clarified by the melodies. The movement features some programmatic elements–high tone clusters and multiphonics represent cars whizzing past, and the melodies alternate between the serene and the frantic.

The second movement, “Saying ‘I Love You,’ and then vomiting it drunkenly in an alley downtown,” is written in a loose binary form (A A’) that juxtaposes aggressively contrasting textures and dynamics. One persistent melody is treated and variated throughout the entire movement.

The third movement, “Winston the dog chases monsters through a castle in San Jose,” was written about the dog of the family that I stayed with in Missouri. While asleep, he (Winston) has a habit of aggressively kicking his feet in a way that suggests that he is chasing something much more frightening than rabbits. The music captures the distractible nature of dogs (and 20-something Millennials) by presenting several abrupt changes. The chase begins, and then stops, and then begins again, and then… “OH, a squirrel!!!!!”

Other performances:

Lukas Schroeder and Makenzie Mattis @ It’s Happening; A Senior Composition Recital, GVSU 1410, Nov. 20th, 2016

Lukas Schroeder and Makenzie Mattis @ Makenzie’s Senior Recital, GVSU 1510, Nov. 19th, 2016