Lois V Vierk

for 18 trombones


TUSK was written in 1981. During the '80s much of my music was for ensembles of multiples of the same instrument. Besides this piece for 18 trombones, I composed works for 8 cellos, for 8 violins, 6 trumpets, 5 electric guitars, 8 ryuteki flutes (bamboo flutes from the Japanese Gagaku court music orchestra), etc. These like-instrument ensembles allow a wide variety of timbral, dynamic and rhythmic nuance to be heard. I've always found the sound of this type of ensemble deeply beautiful and powerful. In these pieces, two or more instruments act together to form one voice or "sound shape", which in turn interacts with other sound shapes. There are three groups of six instruments each in this work. I create what I like to call a Big Instrument, from the sound of the entire ensemble together--a giant trombone consisting of 18 parts. TUSK was commissioned by California Institute of the Arts, Contemporary Music Festival 1981.


Recorded live in concert by Miles Anderson and trombone ensemble, conducted by Lois V Vierk, at the 1981 Cal Arts Festival, California Institute of the Arts.


Click here to view the score.