The University of Melbourne

File(s) stored somewhere else

Please note: Linked content is NOT stored on The University of Melbourne and we can't guarantee its availability, quality, security or accept any liability.

Michael Frazier: "glad to be" (2021) performed by Joel Brennan and Rhodri Clarke

posted on 2023-08-16, 10:41 authored by JOEL BRENNANJOEL BRENNAN

Composer: Michael Frazier,
Trumpet: Joel Brennan,
Piano: Rhodri Clarke

(Best listed to on headphones with the volume turned up to the max - it's mostly a quiet piece!)

For many performers, musical life came to an abrupt stop in early 2020 due to the pandemic and its accompanying lockdowns. That was certainly the case for me - I had dozens of performances around the world cancelled and was living in the "world's most locked down city." With my own musical activities on hiatus, I needed to look elsewhere for inspiration and sustenance. I found both in the many online only concerts that people were streaming; music made in varying degrees of isolation in bedrooms, empty concert halls and churches, and on balconies and rooftops.

I was particularly drawn to performances of composers whose work I had not yet encountered, and Oberlin Conservatory's "Stage Left" series provided a wealth of interesting material - fresh music by new voices in the field, performed by the next generation of performers. I was entranced by the sound world of a piece called "moon eyes," and immediately wrote to its composer, Michael Frazier, to see if he would be interested in writing a piece for me. I was delighted by his positive response, and a few months later he delivered the new commission, a colourful 14-minute work for trumpet (doubling flugelhorn) and piano. Unfortunately, the extensive lockdown in Melbourne meant that I didn't have an opportunity to perform the piece until a couple years after its completion, but I'm eager for this gorgeous work to get out into the world through this first performance. It occupies a unique place in the repertory, and I hope many other trumpet players will program it so that audiences have the opportunity to be as captivated by Michael's music as I am.

Note by the composer:
"glad to be" is a quiet and melancholic dialogue that focuses in on slow expressivity and a reliance on a small set of harmonic colors. These colors, while limited, represent a certain acceptance and positivity of its small scope. The piece was inspired by a recording of the jazz tune "Glad to Be Unhappy" performed by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Recorded 14 June 2023 in Hanson Dyer Hall
Haig Burnell, audio engineer/producer

Special thanks to David Collins and David Wilkinson for the video set up and for giving advice and direction on audio matters.

Joel is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Add to Elements

  • Yes

Usage metrics

    7420 - Melbourne Conservatorium of Music


    Ref. manager