Time Zones

Trombone, Multimedia (computer audio & video)
Completed: 2/12/2010; Premiered: 3/7/2010
Unpublished – Contact the composer


This multimedia composition for trombone, computer, and audience participation is autobiographical, representing a typical day in my life.

Even in this age of specialization in higher education, there are still some who pursue multiple avenues of research or creative activity. During my career, I have certainly been one of those, with strong interests in music composition, music performance, and music technology. Additionally, I have teaching responsibilities, administrative duties, and a family. In many respects, these are the “zones” of my life.

In a typical day, however, I must also respond to many unplanned demands on my time. This composition is a metaphor for navigating the various “zones” of my life while still responding to outside demands.

The technology involved is a Flash animation, with intentionally crude graphics. The electronic music embedded in the animation varies from familiar-sounding string instruments to unusual sounding noises.

The composition consists of six short sections representing “Administration,” “Composition,” “Performance,” “Technology,” Teaching,” and “Family.” A seventh section, “Unplanned Demands,” interrupts the music whenever a member of the audience calls my cell phone. Following the interruption, the music continues where it left off. The total performance could last anywhere from 12 minutes to hundreds of hours, depending on how many times the audience insists on an “Unplanned Demand.”