“The Shadow Knows” for Six Tubas and Drums (optional) was composed by Jim Self in 2010 as a class recording project at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. The entire class of tubists played F Tubas. “The Shadow Knows” is written for six tubas panned across a 180-degree spectrum. Performances should have the tubas spread evenly with the drums in the rear center. The spatial quality of the music is important to the texture. The drums are optional and substitute percussion instruments can be used so one drum set player can do all.
The piece begins with an octave G’s vamp that leads into a scherzo like melody. Lots of cascading and special effects emphasize the spectral nature of the music. Rhythmic hemiolas give the feeling of constant meter changes between and 6/8. The second section is a pretty waltz over jazzy harmonies punctuated by various tuba solos and move rhythmic permutations. This is followed by three short duets and a return to the initial groove and theme culminating in a fast coda-like section. The initial vamp returns with a big rallentando and octave changes–and the piece ends with a quasi-improvised solo in the 1st tuba over a bluesy chord.
“The Shadow Knows” was premiered and recorded in April 2010 at USC. Tubas: (R-L in Mix) Steven Caron, Lyndsey Hoh McClure, Zeewoong Munn, Kyle Mylonakis, Blake Cooper, Danny Garcia; Drums: Brian Foreman. DMA student Dave Holben conducted. It was recorded and mixed by USC Professor Rick Schmunk, The recording can be heard at www.jimself.com and copies can be purchaced there also. “The Shadow Knows” was completed on February 2 so the title refers to the Ground Hog seeing his shadow in Punxsutawney, PA. It also remembers the old radio mystery show—The Shadow.
Score and Parts Included: Tuba 1,2,3,4,5,6 and Drum Set (Opt)