The Long and the Short


The Long and the Short


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This is what would stereotypically be called a minimalist piece. It’s entirely based on a single cell, a 5-note phrase of only two pitches. The rhythm roughly resembles the words of the title, and that’s it. I’ve borrowed some effects from Steve Reich, for me the beguiling master of this sort of music: the off-setting of the cell at the beginning and end, repeated and overlapping chords, and big, wide chords underneath the cell. What Reich also does is multiple repetition, his pieces can easily last half an hour and some players will play the same or similar music throughout. This is obviously not physically possible for brass players, so I’ve divided things up a lot, and the entire piece is under seven minutes. After a passage where the overlaid chords are punctuated by more threatening ones, there’s what I’m calling a ‘stereo section’, where, in a normal brass band set-up, the music shifts quickly across the band, so it’s virtually a visual as well as aural experience for the audience. Finally the cell falters, breaks up, and could have ended there but for a final shout to round it off.
The score is available in A3 print if requested.

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