Seven Short Movements for Brass Quintet

Seven Short Movements (2014–2018)
for brass quintet (14′)

Seven Short Movements for Brass Quintet is an extension of a three-movement composition (titled – shockingly – Three Short Movements for Brass Quintet) that I wrote for Quartet Plus 1 in May 2014. When I first started writing it, I planned to write a long, slow piece in one movement. But after 13 measures, I found myself on a chord that felt like a satisfying conclusion, so I decided to end it there and make it the first of a set of short pieces.

While extending and revising the original in 2015 and 2017, I tried to create a lot of variety between movements by varying tempo, mutes, texture, and expressiveness. As a result, each movement encapsulates its own musical world separate from that of the other movements. Unity – in so far as it exists – comes mainly from the harmonic language of the piece with most “chords” containing at least one minor 2nds or major 7ths. Inspirations included Kurtág, early Webern, Ligeti’s Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet and Schoenberg’s Op. 16 orchestra pieces with their huge extremes of expression.