music for barges

Solo trombone and sound sytem on 3 barges [10′]

music for barges is an encoding of the features of three main canals that come together at Gas Street Basin: the BCN Main Line, Grand Union Canal and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Trombonist can be located on land or alternatively also on a barge. Barges should be coming from different directions, converging then diverging. In the above picture the trombonist is located on the signpost island in Gas Street Basin, with the barges arriving from three main canals meeting at that point.

Barges contain one speaker each with good sound projection, and either a laptop with sound person triggering cues or a remote system with wireless transmission from one location. A folder with soundfiles is provided along with qlab files for each Barge A, B, C and a master file (if they are being cued remotely). In the score is marked when the cues occur for each barge player, they should follow the trombonist, so he should be audible at all times. Cues are triggered on, but they do not have to be triggered off - they just play until finished or overlap with the next cue. Trombonist can be relatively free in terms of tempo and rhythm, though it should not be played too slowly, because of the length of the soundfiles. Trombone part should be played quite robustly, projecting to all sides of the location, especially towards the barges.

Commissioned by Gaudeamus for BCMG Canal Serenade Project.

performance history

  • 9 September 2017: Premiere at Birmingham Gas Street Basin, together with works by Ondřej Adámek and Richard Baker, coordinated by Stephan Meier. Electronics realised by Scott Wilson, BEAST Birmingham University.
  • Second performance at Gaudeamus Music Week 2018.