Instrumentation: Trombone and harp
Duration: 8.5 minutes
Year of Composition: 2015, rev. 2017
Premiere: 2016, Eric Scott Alexander Faculty Composition Recital,
University of Northern Colorado.
Frank R. Cook, trombone, Frances Cobb, harp.
When trombonist Frank R. Cook commissioned me to write him a piece for trombone and harp, I couldn’t help but to think of the popular image of a person with an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, each giving conflicting advice. After some research, I found the modern idea of the “shoulder angels” may have been inspired by the poem Psychomachia by the 5th Century Latin poet Prudentius, depicting the inner battle between vices and virtues. To quote Frank’s introduction to the piece when it was premiered fall 2015, “What we will have here is that inner monologue going on - but it’s not always the angelic instrument and the demonic instrument as you would think”.
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