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The Subtler Arts of Lions

CC tuba, F tuba




Commissioned by Aaron Hynds and Beth McDonald

Premiered August 26, 2016, Elastic Arts, Chicago


Under its surface, The Subtler Arts of Lions contains recurring rhythm and pitch patterns that speed up and slow down over time. When I hear these patterns at different speeds, they suggest to me the musical ideas of several different historical eras and styles. I composed the surface of the piece with the intention of supporting and affirming these suggestions, however incongruous they might seem with one another. Surprisingly, I have found that the resulting music reminds me vividly of the movement and behavior of lions. But the more I think about it, the more I think that tubas and lions have a lot in common.

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