Complete Work Title: 


Performance Medium: 

four trombones (alto, 2 tenor, bass)


turbine — refleks — vapor — rostra — golem




to Andrew Glendening

Date Composed: 

May - October 1988

Performance Information: 

The work incorporates significant theatrical elements, and includes detailed staging instructions for the performers.

Additional Information: 

1990 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipient.

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 23 April 2012; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

    Julie Gray, Nick Laufer, Justin Condron, Jeremiah Stones; Joseph Klein, conductor

  • 18 November 1996; University of Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)

    Kawana'ao; J. Mark Scearce, conductor

  • 29 May 1994; University of California, Los Angeles

    UCLA student trombone ensemble; Kerry Farrell, director

  • 15 March 1994; Morehead State University (Morehead, KY)

    MSU Trombone Quartet; Andrew Glendening, director

  • 5 July 1990; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) — "Music of Our Time" Conference
  • 19 November 1989; Oberlin College Conservatory (Oberlin, OH)
  • 11 November 1989; University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) — Midwest Composers Symposium
  • 29 October 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • 26 October 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • 19 April 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • 11 April 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
  • 1 April 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) [premiere]

    IU Trombone Quartet; Joseph Klein, conductor

Program Notes: 

Parallaxes for four trombones (alto, two tenors, and bass) was composed between May and October of 1988 at the request of trombonist Andrew Glendening, to whom the work is dedicated. The five movements are played without pause, forming an arch-like continuum. The first movement, turbine, is an incessant, motoric music that utilizes the directional nature of the trombone by the rotation of the performers at center stage. The rhythmic drive of turbine eventually breaks down, leading into refleks, a more restrained continuation of the chorale-like closing section of the previous movement. A two-dimensional palindrome (mirroring being effected on both vertical and horizontal axes), refleks is characterized by a static surface which obscures the gradual tonal and registral unfolding. A subversion in the tonal stability and resultant textural flaccidity leads into the more ethereal and sparsely textured vapor, at which point the performers are at the far reaches of the performance space. The introduction of disruptive gestures sets the stage for rostra, a musical argument between the four players. As the exchange becomes more heated, the ostinato pattern that characterizes golem is introduced, gradually accelerating into a series of maniacal outbursts that eventually overtake the texture and thus conclude the piece.

Parallaxes was first performed at Indiana University on 1 April 1989, and received an ASCAP Morton Gould Award in 1990.