Haymarket Square



For solo unaccompanied bass trombone.

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Haymarket Square 

For solo bass trombone

Duration: 4 minutes
Program Notes (by the composer): 

For a couple of years, I would receive the occasional phone call from the British bass trombone soloist, Jonathan Warburton, during which time we would have spicy discussions about my music (which he apparently liked), and also the possibilities of my writing a new work for him. After about five of these such phone calls, we decided upon an unaccompanied solo as a project, and that he would gather an additional 5 or 6 players to help him fund the piece. It was in just a few days that he returned to me with a list of names that had agreed to be a part of the new work. Therefore, it is with no shortage of gratitude that I thank Jonathan for his staunch persistence, and also the following bass trombonists, for their hearty commitment to the creation of this piece:

Jay Heltzer – Gabe Langfur – Alan Pierce – Erik Shinn Robert Tung – Chris Waage 

The title I cooked up – “Haymarket Square” – refers to a dance-like motif that occurs in the second half of the work (m. 102), which to me sounded a bit like a farmers’ market dance. Also, there’s a Haymarket in Boston (where I went to school), and a Haymarket Square in Chicago, (my home town, where, unfortunately, a mass-murder took place in the late 1800s <– there is no reference to this in the piece!), and also Haymarket St. in London. (I’m not sure if Mr. Warburton is from London, but it seemed close enough…

With all of those coincidences, it seemed like a good title.

The first half of the piece is centered around large-leaps referencing D Major. Different dynamic and harmonic surprises pepper this first section, allowing a lot of room for personal expression for the player. There are intermittent outbursts offering the occasional color to an otherwise domicile atmosphere.

This first section returns after the aforementioned dance-music (the middle section), forming musical bookends and subsequently bringing closure to the work.

Jim Stephenson; August, 2015

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