“Kicking the Clutch” was written for Shuko Kuramoto, Cathy Simmons, Tom McCaslin and Brett Nichols in 2001 while we were all students at the Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland. The piece was written as an exercise in playing through constantly shifting meters; sort of an obstacle course for counting. It features one tuba as the driving “motor” of the piece, another tuba is the flowing meldoy line to contrast the mechanical rhythms; the other two voices are low register accents frequently in octaves. The lyrical middle section provides just a couple of moment’s breathing room apart from the other busier sections. The title of the piece refers to a technique used for drifting during auto racing that, although exhilarating, can be a little hard on the car.
Solo parts included: Tuba 1, Tuba 2, Tuba 3, Tuba 4