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The Devil On Your Shoulder

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Quartet
2023
7 min.

Bass Trombone

Trombone

More Details

Program Notes
The imagery of a devil and an angel on each shoulder is a very common one, and one that I wanted to examine with this piece. For me personally, the intrusive thoughts and and dark energies that arise can be extremely overwhelming, and I can often become powerless in the moment. This music is therefore very oppressive, intimidating and controlling. I thought a trombone quartet would be perfect for this vibe. There is a moment of hope, at the (quasi) recapitulation, which represents the angel calling and signaling towards the light. This attempt to escape is soon thwarted and taken under control by the devil once again, who wins in the end. This composition acts as a sort of warning. Try to always keep the angel close, because the devil on your shoulder can turn you into a completely different person, with ease.
Ensemble Name
Jacob Hamel, Wes Coffin, John Putnam, Michael Marrone