When we began contacting composers about this project, we did not have an overarching theme in mind. Our primary goal at the time was simply to play some new music together, but the project quickly developed into something much more. Once we had all the works in front of us, we began to see the full scope of the album, and the concept became very clear to us. Each of the pieces represents, in some way, the plethora of reasons we decided to pursue music. We experienced music’s ability to convey ideas that words cannot express. We have had music create vivid imagery in our minds. We have felt the inexplicable power of music and its ability to move us. And hey, all of us were at some point inspired by some sick, nasty grooves. Though each of us have very different stories, our early roots are the same. Our debut album, Roots, is an homage to the various aspects of music that caught our attention, shaped the way we viewed the world, and firmly planted a passion for music in each of us.
This music on this recording was all written for or premiered by Columbus State University trombone students. Many are new works specifically commissioned for this recording project, including "La Reconquista" which was composed by a current member of the ensemble Andrew Markel. It was through the generous backing of our supporters that we were able to raise enough money to make the CD free to everyone, as we endeavor to get some wonderful music written or arranged for trombone ensemble out there!
The recording features the STS faculty and guest artists in trombone ensemble settings ranging from quintets to the full 30-member STS Professors Choir. The Artists of the Southeast Trombone Symposium include current and former members of the STS faculty, representing orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra (Zurich), the Alabama Symphony, the Houston Symphony and others. Other performers include artist-teachers from some of the finest schools of music in the United States, and a few freelance trombonists. The CD was recorded in Legacy Hall at Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music, which has been home to a number of other fine brass recordings.
“Mighty Shadow.” These two words for me conjure tensions between vigor and vulnerability, inspiration and intimidation, sacredness and secularism. And these emotions and ideas weave throughout this album’s masterworks in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme by Corelli. Mussorgsky penned his most well-known work on the death of his great friend Viktor Hartmann, using his paintings as a foundation to forever enshrine his memory. Rachmaninoff’s last major piano work stands as a self-reflection as the composer casts a look back across his entire life.
The album includes new works by Todd Goodman and Ricardo Mollá Albero as well as trombone standards such as Jacques Castérède's Sonatine and Eugène Bozza's Hommage a Bach. Fascinating are the arrangements of well-known pieces on the album. Peter Steiner starts with a strong statement playing Claude Debussy's Syrinx originally written for flute. Other arrangements include an aria from the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini as well as two arrangements of Astor Piazzolla pieces.
These are accessible compositions, well within the skill level of many players. Many new recordings showcase the amazing talent level of so many current bass trombonists, but these works are often beyond the reach of all but a few. Please take a listen, and consider programing one or more of these pieces. Composer emails are all listed, and publishers where available. If you really have trouble obtaining something, let me know. In my experience, making a recording is an investment that rarely breaks even. I release this freely, hoping it gets a wide audience. If you want to hear it, come grab a copy. I'd request only you let me know what you think, once you're heard it. If for some reason, you feel inclined to contribute, a Paypal link is provided for that purpose. You can send me $5.00, $10.00, or any amount you like, including ZERO. You may also give more. As much as you like. Feel free adding as many decimal points as necessary! It will fund the next project. You can also get a copy of any of my previous recordings, available at AAM, iTunes, and Amazon.
Solo Bass Trombone album by James Markey, Bass Trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This most recent album continues to push the envelope in solo bass trombone repertory and performance. The works present a wide array of challenges, representing a wide variety of genres, styles, and moods.
In preparation for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Contest, I recorded three of my more recent songs and will pick one to submit for the contest. Once again, Jordan Walsh and I teamed up within 4 hours and recorded and mixed the whole EP in roughly an hour and a half. Each track is a live take with mistakes kept intact. I hope you enjoy this one.
This album was recorded in roughly 2 hours. That may seem rushed, but the point was to be honest. These songs I wrote, they all come from a very real and very vulnerable part of who I am. I finally started performing them this last year and then one day, me and the audio engineer Jordan decided we would record. So we hastily grabbed four microphones, and set off before we even had a place to record yet. Thankfully, our friend Corey pulled through. We set up the microphones and basically hit record trying to capture all the sounds around us and only allowing a single take per song. I won't deny mistakes, there are plenty. I won't deny quality issues at times when we didn't truly prepare. But the point of this recording goes far beyond that, for this project, it wasn't about perfection. It's about honesty in what it is. And so on that second story balcony, I got personal and comfortable, I sang and I was honest. And truth be told, I took another step forward. I hope you can get something out of these songs, they all represent something in my own life, in my own being; and if I'm lucky, it might just touch something in your own. Thank you, and all of the best. -David
This recording is the result of a six-semester synergy between students, soloists, faculty members, composers, producers, engineers, and of course a business coordinator, facilities manager, and other staff. It was only through the hard work and dedication of all of these people, along with the vision of the administration of the Schwob School of Music and Columbus State University that this massive project came to fruition. The soloists include Joseph Alessi, George Curran, James Markey, Denson Paul Pollard, Bill Thomas, Charlie Vernon, and Ko-ichiro Yamamoto.