Sound and Fury


For trumpet, and piano or organ.
For violin, and piano or organ.

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Sound and Fury(2004)

for trumpet and organ

duration: 5’

Sound and Fury was composed for Marc Reese in early 2004, as a newly commissioned work for an upcoming recording project. The piece has gone through several metamorphoses (most notably in the name, which I’ll explain later), but the result was a piece meant not only to display Marc’s warm, resonant sound, but also to comment on his belief that a piece needs angst in it at some point!

It opens lyrically and very tonal, though a bit of harmonic discord quickly worms its way in. A constant, relentless figure in the pedals of the organ drives the “Fury” section, where an odd meter (5/2), tense harmonies, full voiced sonorities and high volume intent on creating “angst” are dominant. The trumpet re-enters in the midst of the noise on a soft “E”, because Marc told me that it was his favorite note, and this gives way to a reprise of the original lyrical theme.

The title “Sound and Fury” came as a result of many attempts at naming the piece. The first title was pretty bad: “All in a Day.” And honestly, I can’t remember if that was because I wrote the piece in one day (which I have done before) or if it was meant to describe happenings that could happen in the course of a 24 hour period. It doesn’t matter, because the title was scrapped, for obvious reasons. The 2nd title, was “Reese’s Piece,” which I thought was funny, but didn’t reflect the nature of the piece. Finally I settled on the title currently in use. It works for me, for now…

Jim Stephenson

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