Instrumentation: 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, 2 percussion
World Premiere: February 1994 / Detroit, MI / Detroit Chamber Winds / H. Robert Reynolds
Peermusic Classical, BMI (Americas and Asia)
Faber Music (Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
Duration: 7 minutes
Motown Metal (1994) for brass ensemble and percussion was commissioned by the Detroit Chamber Winds and Summit Brass. Under the baton of H. Robert Reynolds, the premiere of Motown Metal was performed in Detroit, Michigan by the Detroit Chamber Winds in February 1994.
The composition is inspired by the sounds and rhythms of industrial Detroit: city of automobile clamor and the sixties Motown sound. The composition highlights instruments made only of metal: four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, tuba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, triangle, cymbal, gong, anvil, and brake drum. Motown Metal is an assembly line of ascending and descending glissandi and rapid chromatic scales, predominantly heard in the trombones. The tuba, glockenspiel, and anvil create a funky polyphony, while the trumpets and horns play big band staccato chords. I draw on my experience playing percussion in sixties soul music bands and drum and bugle corps to create brassy industrial-strength polyrhythms.