Vital Lightning

Composed 2018

 

Instrumentation

    Tenor trombones I, II, III, IV

    Bass trombones I, II

Duration 3'

Commissioned by

    University of Cincinnati College-                    Conservatory of Music Trombone Choir

    Tyler Simms, director

Performed by

    CCM Trombone Choir

    Tyler Simms, conductor

Program Notes

    Much of my work is built and driven off of a contrapuntal impetus derived from the work of Vincent Persichetti, one of my compositional role models. Counterpoint is an essential technique of many masters of our craft, and the abstract idea of interweaving threads is present throughout the natural world, such as the interplay of lightning in storms. Lightning of all forms create their own unique threads towards their destination, be it the ground, cloud, or other bolts of lightning, all while maintaining a singular direction and purpose of balance between positive and negative energy. Musical counterpoint is much in the same – the interweaving and directionality of different melodies and motivic developments creates balance or imbalance, and this interplay drives the momentum of a work. Lightning is a complex phenomenon, vital to balance in times of natural, stormy turbulence. Musical counterpoint reflects this, vital for motion both pressing and relaxing, and the pursuit of mastering this craft is an essential factor of any composer’s success.

    My heartfelt thanks to Tyler Simms and the CCM Trombone Choir to affording me the opportunity to continue these vital pursuits through Vital Lightning, composed in December of 2018.

December 15 2018

Joseph Foster Harkins

composer