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Tresin Terra (“Three for Earth”) began as a much shorter work, originally composed for my former student, Josiah Williams.   I heard Josiah premiere the work on his senior recital and absolutely fell in love with it.  I approached the composer, David Rodgers, also an alumnus of the Blair School, and asked if he might consider expanding the original work into a three-part suite.  He agreed, and David and I were able to premiere the new expanded work at the 2017 International Trombone Festival in Redlands, California.

This piece has some challenges, not the least of which is David’s creative use of ostinato rhythms and his love of the key of G-flat!  But the technical challenges of this piece are SO worth the effort.  The big thing to remember for anyone who performs Tresin Terra is that there is a TON of freedom and leeway for creativity and personal expression in the work.  The almost complete absence of articulation markings in the trombone part is intentional.  I chose to use a modified soft jazz articulation throughout, but performers should feel free to experiment.  The opening cadenza/improvisation is another area where someone could really make the piece “theirs”, as are the many pauses of the 2nd “movement”, subtitled “For the Beauty of the Earth”.

I absolutely love performing this piece, and audiences seem to love hearing it!  I hope this spreads far and wide, and I am so excited to hear what different artists do with it!  For some extra background/inspiration, here’s what the composer says about the work:

Tresin Terra is a programmatic work for trombone-piano duo, inspired by the beauty in the way nature creates out of necessity. This work combines elements of composition and improvisation in a fluid musical medium ideal for performers who revel in the energy of creating and reacting in the moment.
– David Rodgers