For Solo Euphonium and Brass Quintet
Tiamat is an exploratory programmatic work for solo euphonium and brass quintet. The title is based on the name of a dragon from the fantasy role-playing adventure game and the 1980s children’s cartoon, Dungeons & Dragons. Tiamat is a five-headed dragon, with each had having a different color and its own elemental properties. Each head is represented by an instrument in the accompanying quintet, and each element has its own specific theme in the piece:
- Lightning (Blue) – Trumpet 1 – disjointed staccato notes
- Acid (Black) – Trumpet 2 – repeated three-note pattern, overlapping in texture, abrasive
- Ice (White) – Horn – repeated staccato (and stopped) notes, brittle, yet sharp
- Fire (Red) – Trombone – flutter-tongue and tremelo effects
- Poison (Green) – Tuba – descending chromatic scale, oozing, seeping
The thematic ideas for each element are intended to be a musical representation of its properties and effects. The “rips” in the quintet are intended to be the snapping and biting of the dragon’s jaws.
The solo euphonium takes the role of the hero of the tale, who has sworn to defeat the dragon and restore peace to the surrounding lands.