For many centuries, large stone figures have brought up more questions than answers about life of the ancient times that they were created. Monolith for Bass Trombone explores and in some cases fantasizes one of those theories. In the piece, the Bass Trombone represents the large mysterious figure and gives up insight to what it has seen over its many centuries of standing watch over the area. The piece is written as a six-part Arch-Rondo Form.
At the beginning of the piece the accompaniment creates a dark mysterious mood depicting a foggy jungle evening. The soloist enters with short melodies that weave in and out of the ominous texture created by the trombone quintet. It is as if you can see the large figure peeking through the breaks in the forest’s canopy above you. As this develops the melody starts to come through the texture as more and more of the Monolith reveals itself. When the Monolith is found its discoverers immediately look it upon as deity of some sort. The second section erupts with an energetic dance depicting a wild bacchanalian worship festival. The worship of this false idol has gotten out of hand. As the debauchery continues the soloist declares it’s frustration of being idolized and is unable to change the fate that has befallen him. At this point hard times have fallen upon the worshippers. The Monolith is witnessing the worshippers pray and beg their idol for salvation. The slow third section is an empathetic mourning for the worshippers as they start to die off from hunger and disease. As conditions worsen the worshippers start to doubt the power of their idol and start a riot. This fourth section is the same energetic dance as the bacchanalia, but it has darker overtones as the Monolith watches helplessly as the people riot and the conflict essentially rips their community apart. The fifth section leaves the Monolith in the middle of sea of carnage. The soloist weaves in and out of the 54 ostinato created by the trombone accompaniment as a lamentation of the people who once stood on the now burnt and bloody earth before him. Nightfall comes and just as it began the piece ends with the opening texture as the Monolith is standing watch, bathed by moonlight, as it has done for centuries only to be discovered and start the cycle all over again.
parts included: Solo Bass Trombone, Solo Tuba, Trombone 1, 2, 3, 4, Bass Trombone