Breathing Space

For tuba and electronics

Breathing Space is at least partially about my relationship with brass playing. I’ve not played for a long time but when I did I always struggled with that most natural of actions, breathing. When I tried to breath, and trying was probably half the problem, my body filled with tension. Tension that played havoc with the airflow I was trying to supply the instrument with. Playing without a good supply of air meant I was a very inconsistent player and didn’t have the control over the instrument I wanted.

The breathiness in Breathing Space is much more relaxed than I ever managed to be. If the piece is partly about me trying to find a sense of resolution in my relationship with me as a brass player it is also about the tuba player and their relationship with the sound world they inhabit. They breath sounds out that fill the space we listen to, immersing us. Occasionally there is a throatiness or tension in the sound, perhaps I can’t quite let go of that tension I felt yet. The tuba pushes against this tension finding relationships with the electroacoustic sounds. This tension heightens the feeling of resolution and calmness we feel for most of the piece.

Breathing Space is composed for, and dedicated to Danielle Price.