Tonight marked the premiere of a new octet version of "Tango Divertido". This work was originally composed for euphonium quartet and is available on euphonium.com. The new version has been expanded to octet including 4 euphonium and 4 tuba parts. The new edition was commissioned by Dr. Jamie Nix and the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. The work premiered tonight as part of the Schwob Wind Ensemble's virtual spring concert viewable on Youtube. Their performance of "Tango Divertido for Octet" can be watched below.
Today at the International Tuba and Euphonium Association's 2021 virtual conference a new work from Benjamin Horne was performed for the first time! "Listen..." for Euphonium, Tuba, and Electronic Track was premiered by Jason Casanova (euphonium) and Bernard Flythe (tuba). This new work is the culmination of a consortium managed by Casanova for a piece commemorating the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The work features influences from spirituals, hip hop, and jazz. Click the YouTube link below to view the premiere video from the international conference. The following note is from the composer:
"Listen..." is about our failure as a society to listen to one another. It is about our failure to educate. It is about the notion that we can no longer accept these bandages for larger social issues particularly in regards to racism. So many times, we are taught that we conquered racism at different points in history (whether it was the end of slavery or the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, etc.). The modern-day protests and particularly the death of George Floyd in 2020 was a reawakening to the fact that racism still persists. Racism has never been defeated. "Listen..." depicts the cycle of loss and mourning to false victory and return to the status quo without meaningful change only t revert back to the same patterns. The piece opens with a nod to seemingly our most relevant victory of the Civil Rights era with speeches and depictions of rallies that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Snap to the modern-day however, and we find that we are mourning. We are equal, but we are still struggling, weeping, protesting, marching. An eulogizing theme plays. This theme becomes prominent throughout the entire work. A hip hop influenced section then begins as we move back to the status quo. Change is minimal at best, so we still chant "No Justice, No Peace". Eventually tensions rise a new event of struggle ensues building up to a climatic gunshot. Another life is lost, and we are left once again mourning another as the cycle continues.
My debut recording project with the Albireo New Collective is live. In this project, I debut as the trombonist for Silver Moon Splintering by Kathryn Koopman. Check out the performance in the video below!
Since September 2020, I have been a member of the Sequence Quartet. The Sequence Quartet is a euphonium chamber ensemble made up of Josh Bishop, Jack Lorens, Andrew Sallee, and myself. In our months of activity thus far we have performed several times despite the restrictions of the pandemic. The compensate however most of our performances have been virtual which can be viewed on our social media accounts. We also recently released our first website. You can check out all things related to the Sequence Quartet at the following links.
I am proud to announce that I was named a finalist in the Indiana University Celebrating Diversity Solo Competition performing my own work, Stutter Step. You can watch the video of my finals performance below!