Nickitas Demos

Air, Metal & Roll



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    Air, Metal and Roll_m1 Excerpt
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    Air, Metal and Roll_m2 Excerpt
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    Air, Metal and Roll_m3 Excerpt

Air, Metal & Roll (2006)

Nickitas Demos

View this performance on YouTube.

I. "...tenacious joy..." - score preview

II. “…the very breath of my body…” - score preview

III. “…such excellent noise…” - score preview

Stream movement I in its entirety on ReverbNation

Duration: 17'

Double Concerto for trombone, euphonium and symphonic band.

Commissioned by and dedicated to Demondrae Thurman, Tom Gibson and The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”

It is always a wonderful opportunity to write for musicians that one knows personally. I had such an opportunity when writing Air, Metal & Roll for Demondrae Thurman and Tom Gibson. In thinking about Tom and Demondrae, I knew I wanted to compose a work that reflected the great joy they exude both in person and especially onstage while performing. I began my work on this piece by first writing a short poem that captured my feelings both about these great performers and about the act of creating music in general. The poem is as follows: 


     I am filled with

                          tenacious joy

            because the very breath

                                                 of my body      makes

     such excellent noise 


This short poem became the framework for the construction of the entire piece. Each movement takes a portion of the poem as its title. The first movement, “…tenacious joy…” reminds me of the respective personalities of Demondrae and Tom. They are both extraordinary musicians; filled with a deep and enthusiastic love for making music. This short movement, a fanfare to open the composition, tries to capture the excitement and joy imbued in Demondrae and Tom’s performances. The second movement, “…the very breath of my body…” explores the mechanics of playing a wind instrument. As a woodwind player myself, I share the same method of sound production as a brass player – namely literally breathing into an instrument to create sound. For me, it becomes a small reminder of the nature of Man as an image of God – a co-creator on this earth. Just as God breathed and humans were created, so the musician breaths and sound is created. The character of the music tries, especially in the opening section of the movement, to capture the feeling of breathing deeply in and out and of the profound activity that is creation. The third and longest of the three movements, “…such excellent noise…” explores the metallic properties of brass instruments. The percussion section plays a large role in the movement; amplifying the metallic nature of the instruments. The movement also returns to the joyful theme initially articulated in the first movement. The music pulsates with rhythm and also incorporates abstracted Greek folk dance music.