2ba4 (Parental Discretion)

Tuba, stereo playback, boomboxes



File for stereo playback

File for boomboxes (make 2 CDs of this)

Studio recording of performance



2ba4, is a work for tuba and electronics written in a style I have dubbed “Brassplotation.” Imagine it as the soundtrack to an R. Crumb animation where a tuba does horrible, horrible things.  There are explicit references to the sub-genre of music known as trip-hop, a style that flourished in the late 1990s. Trip-hop itself often makes references to the conspicuously vintage sounds of tremolo guitar (think spy movies) and lo-fi scratchy vinyl sounds. Thematically, the motives are based primarily on funk riffs derived from the blues scale. The first three notes of the C minor blues scale (C Eb F) also provided the architectural structure for the piece in that the work centers first around C, then Eb, then F before returning to C. Elements of the performer’s part are echoed by boomboxes placed behind the audience. 

The work is suitable for all ages.

Performance Instructions:

2ba4 is a work for live tubist, stereo soundfile played over a P.A. system (or very nice stereo) and two portable CD players or “boomboxes” that are behind the audience. The tubist synchronizes with the stereo soundfile being played over the PA and essentially ignores the boomboxes. To start the piece, all three soundfiles need to be cued to zero and on 

pause. On boomboxes, this is best achieved by pressing play, then pause, and using the 

track advance button to return to track one. With all CDs ready, start the soundfile with 

which the tubist synchs. Start one boombox a quarter note later, then the other 

boombox another quarter note later, as indicated on the score. The material on the 

boombox CDs is mostly echoes of fragments of the performer’s part. The boomboxes 

needn’t be precisely synchronized for the piece to be effective. As long as the start of the 

CDs is sequential, and fairly close to a quarter note apart, the piece will work. 

Performers are also welcome to use other methods to achieve the same goal.