Canzon XVII, after Gabrieli, 2003-2004 (7′)
for trombone and electronic delay
Giovanni Gabrieli is probably best-known for his antiphonal brass works, many of which were short pieces that he called “Canzon”. The seventeenth of these “Canzone” provided the source material and the inspiration for my own Canzon XVII, which is not, in fact, my seventeenth piece for this unusual instrumentation, but my first. Gabrieli’s piece is for a mixed brass choir, while my own is for a solo trombone, whose every utterance is repeated by the speakers that stand in front of him. At times, the “ensemble” (of trombone plus delayed trombone) sounds much like Gabrieli’s original, but most of the work spins out the dead composer’s ideas in a distinctly modern direction. This updating is a respectful one, however; Canzon XVII is meant to be a tribute to Gabrieli, and a showpiece for my friend Martin Wittenberg, to whom this work is dedicated.