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Peal Off (2018)

for brass quintet
in one movement

Approx. duration: 5'20"

Premiere: December 20, 2018

Fine Arts Building, Chicago, IL

by the Gaudete Brass Quintet


I’m fortunate to have met many performers who - whether due to personality, talent, or both - have inspired me out of the blue to write for them. (Whether they feel the same is a question I'll let lie...) A great example is the genesis of this tri-partite single movement for brass quintet. This was a genre that had not been on my radar. Yet attending my first New Music Gathering in Bowling Green, OH in May of 2017, as I was listening to Scott Tegge - tubist for the Gaudete Brass Quintet - participate in a panel discussion, and listening to his sonorous and evocative voice, got my brain to spinning and I found myself wondering how I would use my particular style and aesthetic for this timbral combination. Within minutes the entire opening span of the piece formed in my mind, almost exactly as it currently stands (with the happy later alteration occasioned by a slight misreading at the premiere. Never discount the benefits a mistake can produce!).


The title of this dance-inspired piece - spelled P-E-A-L, not P-E-E-L and therefore containing no suggestions subliminal or otherwise for the ensemble or auditors to remove articles of clothing - comes from the opening ricocheting figure which suggested to me the tolling, or pealing, of bells. From that figuration the piece takes off, expanding into various dance-based grooves and fanfares.

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