Glasgow Sequenza XVII – ‘Exercise’ for Trombone

This years Plug 2009 festival of new music at the RSAMD starts soon, 27 April – 1 May. One of the features this year is a new set of ‘Glasgow’ sequenzas, written variously by students and staff and interspersed among larger programme items. Mine is for trombone and, between myself and Head of Composition Gordon McPherson, we’ve cooked up a plan to, um, kill a trombonist? Here’s my description from the score;

‘Over the course of an extended period of time (30-60 minutes) the trombonist is asked to play a ‘virtuosic’ passage in alternation with vigorous bouts of physical exercise. The piece becomes harder to execute as it progresses; not through any development in the music, but through the physical deterioration of the player. At intervals during the performance we hear a tireless computer rendition of the piece as it ‘ought’ to be.’

So we’ve got Davur Magnussen, the brilliant new young principal trombone of the RSNO running on a treadmill over the course of an hour, whilst attempting to play ‘virtuosic’ material of one sort or another in competition with the computer. Should be fun! (Well, not so much fun for Davur, perhaps :)

Draft version of the score available as pdf.

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