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Commissioned by & Dedicated to Jon Whitaker
Completed in 2011 for solo trombone, TONOI VIII is the eighth in an ongoing series of works for solo performers. During the course of writing these solo works, I have established certain characteristics common to all the pieces in the series. The pieces are episodic and abstract in nature, having no particular idea or “program” attached to them. Although presented in one contiguous movement, the works are divided into clear sections. Each piece is dedicated and written for a specific performer. In the case of this work, I have written and dedicated the work to trombonist Jon Whitaker. I write these pieces in a linear fashion – beginning with the first measure and writing straight through to the last with no insertions of sections; composing a later section before an earlier section, etc. It is typical for the works to use and develop the harmonic and melodic materials presented at the beginning of a given work throughout the piece. Each section of the respective pieces moves further away from the original statement. Succeeding sections may seem to have been arrived at in a logical manner, however, they move the listener further and further away from the opening motivic and/or harmonic environment originally presented. The game that I set-up up for myself is to figure out a way to return to the opening material no matter how far I have wandered. In all of the Tonoi works, I am also interested in writing as idiomatically as possible for the respective solo instrument.