For trumpet and percussion.
For five trumpets and optional percussion.

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Vignettes (2005)

for trumpet and percussion

duration:  10’

Commissioned by Eric Berlin. Premiered by Eric Berlin, trumpet and Eduardo Leandro, percussion at the 2005 ITG conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Trumpets needed:

C Trumpet
C Trpt. With Cup Mute B-flat Piccolo Trumpet Flugelhorn
B-flat Flumpet (optional)

Percussion instruments needed:

Wood Block (low) Tambourine (handheld and mounted) Triangle
Snare Drum
a2 Cymbals (for “encore” only)

Eight Vignettes

#1: Running with Lionel: Cup Mute and Vibes
#2: Chasing Igor: Trumpet with Snare Drum
#3: Chuck’s March: Flugel and Percussion
#4: Dinner with Andre: Piccolo Trumpet and Tambourine
#5: Waltz in Berlin: Trumpet and Percussion
#6: Leandro Perpetuo: Solo Marimba
#7: MAX: Flumpet and Marimba
#8: ENCORE: White on White (ENCORE): Trumpet and Cymbals


Program Notes: 

I composed these eight Vignettes (7 + “Encore”) for Eric Berlin and Eduardo Leandro for performance at the ITG (International Trumpet Guild) Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The only requests I was given before writing these was to be aware of Mr. Leandro’s traveling needs (in other words: aside from the marimba and vibes, which would already be in Thailand, I shouldn’t include too many percussion instruments that would need to be carried all the way there), and to use several different trumpets, including Mr. Berlin’s “flumpet”.

Eric and I were at the New England Conservatory together, and, in fact, it was our living quarters that inspired the main ingredient of these Vignettes. I remember very often hearing the sound of Eric practicing below me in the dormitory, and thus I decided to use the musical form of a “lower neighbor” as my driving force for most of the eight short pieces in this set.

The pieces are arranged only by the order in which they were composed; I leave the decision up to the performer to arrange them according to their preference. I also would imagine that several mini-“suites” could be derived from this set, depending again on the performer’s wishes.

The “Encore” is, in fact, tongue-and-cheek, and might be used by the performer depending on the performance situation. It is certainly not meant to take away from the rest of the seven Vignettes which are definitely not silly by any means. The “Encore” is my first and will be my last bit of “abstract” music. “White on White” is a reference to the famous modern painting of the same name, and also describes the white noise of a loud trumpet (not Eric’s) and a loud cymbal crash sounding simultaneously. Like the rest of the pieces, it could be put anywhere in the order, and doesn’t necessarily have to be reserved as an encore.

Jim Stephenson March, 2005

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