Alan Edward Williams
For Solo Euphonium and Piano
Jazz Disasters was premiered by David Childs, to whom the work is dedicated, during a solo recital at the Bridgewater Hall Manchester in 2004. The genres of music I’m most influenced by are jazz and the “Barbaric” tendencies of early 20th-century composers like Bartók and Stravinsky. I suppose they have rhythmic ostinato in common, and to me, having at one time played guitar in a big band, the marriage between (in this case) funk and brass seems a natural one.
David had a big input into the piece, encouraging me to explore the extreme regions of the instrument, and of its virtuoso qualities. It is a kind of collision between the “Balkan” rhythms of the first and last sections and the funk-fusion feel of the middle, with some walking bass thrown in for good measure. The piece should feel like a runaway train, always on the point of coming off the tracks.
– Alan Edward Williams