Six-Pack for Solo Tuba was written at the request of Tim Buzbee, whom currently holds the position of Principal Tuba with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. During our initial brainstorming discussions, Tim said he had always had an idea for a theatrical piece with six different movements where the performer would drink a beer between each movement. Aside from exploiting his monstrous low register and beautiful lyrical playing, his only other requirement was that it be somewhat flashy, if not virtuosic, and that it could be used to close out a recital on a positive and powerful note.
With these guidelines, it was decided to structure the piece as an outline of the potential actions, moods or emotions one might experience during each stage of drinking a six-pack of beer. Each movement then took on the responsibility of not only conveying each particular stage in character, but also of taking the listener on an intense and somewhat specific emotional journey throughout the course of the work.
The concept of such a work provides some interesting challenges, the first of which is finding a suitable performance venue, since few, if any universities or churches would allow the consumption of alcohol on their premises. The next obvious challenge is being able to play the piece while consuming a total of six beers in about as many minutes. Ambitious players under the age of 21 might discover a setback, as well. As a result, the theatrical aspect of the work has been deemed "optional" should the location permit and the performer be willing and able to perform it as originally intended.
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