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The starting point for this piece was some dramatic cloud formations I experienced while in Morrinsville, near Hamilton. It was a brilliant sunny day, with occasional huge and interestingly shaped clouds floating past. They provided inspiration for the opening texture for my piece Clouds, which is flowing and slowly unfolding in character.
Clouds can assume many different shapes and characters and this is reflected in my piece. There are stormy ideas with strong rhythms, jagged ideas built from small motifs, mysterious ideas that suggest darker clouds, bright climaxes that suggest the sun bursting through.
The solo trombone is like a small aeroplane, weaving its way through the clouds and enjoying a rather turbulent journey. Its part is soloistic but integrated into the band texture and often underpinned by the percussion, who have an important role in sustaining the momentum of the piece. Near the end the soloist has a brief cadenza before the music rises to a rumbling climax. This passage finally disintegrates, as the clouds disperse.
Commissioned by The National Brass Band of New Zealand for the World Brass Band Championships, Holland 2005
Dedicated to Dave Bremner
03 Jul 2005: Performed by David Bremner (trombone), National Brass Band of New Zealand cond. David Gallaher; Essen Symphony Hall, Germany
31 Jul 2009: Dad and Dave with the Saints
17 May 2014: Woolston Brass | New Zealand Music Month Concert
09 May 2015: Wellington Brass presents NZ Music
13 Aug 2015: RNZAF Band plays Masterworks
Performed by David Bremner (trombone) with the National Band of New Zealand 2008, conducted by Howard Taylor