for Trumpet and Orchestra
Instrumentation: 2222/22/solo tpt/strgs.
Composition Date: 2009
Original band version commissioned by the National Youth Band, funded by Grant MacEwan College’s Centre for the Arts Research and Scholarly Activity Fund and premiered May 13, 2009 with Dean McNeill soloist, Dr. Shelley Jagow conductor.
Orchestral Version premiered January 9, 2010 by the National Radio Orchestra, Jens Lindeman soloist, Alain Trudel conductor.
The word Kalla is Norwegian for “call,” a theme that appears both in the inspiration for this piece and the structure of the work itself. Commissioned by the 2009 National Youth Band of Canada and funded through a grant from Grant MacEwan College’s Centre for the Arts Research and Scholarly Activity Fund, the work was premiered May 13, 2009 by the National Youth Band of Canada under the direction of Dr. Shelley Jagow, featuring Dean MacNeill as the soloist.
For me Kalla is a “crossover” piece stylistically for the soloist. It draws upon both classical and jazz inspired techniques including traditional cadenzas with virtuosic runs and triple tonguing and contrasting sections featuring jazz plunger techniques, a unique sound not often heard orchestral music.
The trumpet culture in turn of the century (late 19th century-early 20th century) New Orleans was the inspiration for Kalla. Trumpet players would go down to the river and play a note to see how long it took the echo to come back. Soon, another trumpet would answer, higher and louder, and the game of one-upsmanship would begin. Trumpet calls and answers from across the city would sound. Kalla is based on this concept of call and response with the opening trumpet call coming physically from different places in the concert hall.
This orchestral version was written at the request of my old friend Jens Lindeman who I have collaborated with many times in the past. I’m also honored to have this piece included on the inaugural concert of the new National Radio Orchestra.