Celestial Navigation (2005)
for trombone, vibraphone, and piano
I. into the clouds
II. on the edge of the atmosphere
III: through the stars
IV: …below the ethereal plains
This piece was my capstone for the undergrad degree at Mizzou. I started with the last movement, …below the ethereal plains, which was inspired by one of my favorite composers, John Adams, and specifically his piece, Phrygian Gates, which was my first real introduction into Minimalism, a style that has since been very influential in my writing.
After performing that piece, I decided to expand it into four movements, highlighting the different instruments in the group. The opening movement is a piano solo, which really represented my first attempt to write idiomatically for the piano. The two interior movements use combinations of the trombone and vibraphone and piano and vibraphone to explore some of the thematic ideas in the first and last movements and bridge everything together. The final movement is first time all three instruments are heard together.