I started tinkering with a loop station about 4 years ago, when I attempted to prepare and perform the famous Slipstream for trombone and loop station. After wrestling with that piece and performing it about a dozen times, I started to wish there were more works written for that combination. The vast majority of composers that I approached were intrigued, but ultimately intimidated by the idea of trying to write for the complexities of the loop station. Then I met Jim Stephenson. Jim is one of those composers who loves a challenge. A unique combination of instruments or a complex set of circumstances serves only to energize and inspire him. So when I brought up the idea of a piece for trombone and loop station, I could almost literally see his mental gears churning in excitement and interest.
The resulting piece was delivered about 18 months later (Jim’s a busy man, and very high in demand) and since Jim loves baseball (especially the Cubs), I’ll just say the piece was a GRAND SLAM. It’s exciting yet emotional, complex yet accessible, infectiously rhythmic yet melody-centered, and a total hit with everyone who hears it (so far). I use a Boss RC-300 looping station and a Shure Beta 98H/C clip-on mic on this piece. But the only requirement is that you have a loop machine capable of doing octave effects and three separate looping tracks.