James Grant writes:
Food For Thought is a two-movement tour de force for tuba and piano. Commissioned by tubist Dr. Matthew Hightower for inclusion on his debut CD and his 2017-18 touring season, Food For Thought is a musical representation of two of the principal neurotransmitters that shape our thinking and our perception of the world around us: 5-Hydroytryptamine, a “calming” neurotransmitter (also known as serotonin); and Adrenaline, a “stimulating” neurotransmitter.
The first movement explores serotonin, specifically its association with regulating mood balance, happiness, and an overall sense of wellbeing. The second movement gregariously speeds through a high-energy exploration of adrenaline, known for its central role in fueling the “flight or fight” response.
Matthew Hightower, in addition to being a celebrated tubist, is an award-winning composer, and this made for a dynamic collaborative effort on Food for Thought. Before I began work on the piece, I asked Matt if he would be interested in sitting at his composer’s desk to write an opening musical idea for the first movement and a closing musical idea for the second. Matt responded with a handful of delightful, well-crafted measures of music, and I diligently forged ahead to incorporate and develop them into the two movements of Food For Thought. Meanwhile, my brain happily bathed in copious amounts of serotonin and adrenaline.
Food For Thought is dedicated with the greatest respect, gratitude and friendship to Matthew Hightower.
- James Grant
Score and part included: tuba