Seven Aequali (2023)
for trombone trio (TTB)
Commissioned by Cameron Randall
The term “equale” or “aeqaule” was a name used for solemn works “for equal voices” – human voices in the sixteenth century, and several trombones (or similar instruments) by the eighteenth. In this new work, I have used the concept of equals as a guiding principle for nearly every aspect. I began searching for parity at the level of the smallest unit, in this case, the chord. This trio is entirely based on seven, three-note sonorities, each of which can move smoothly to any other (the aequali of the title). Density of texture is balanced across three formations: trios, duos and solos. In some sections rhythm is fixed, in others, free. Each performer is an active listener who helps to determine the work’s moment-to-moment and formal shapes, including the order of the composed materials in a given performance.