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Sounding field: the deep

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Robert McClure

Robert McClure

The title of this work is intentionally written all in lower case.

General Info

Year: 2017 / 2018
Duration: c. 6:20
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Low brass trio
Publisher: Robert McClure
Cost: Score and Parts - Contact Robert McClure


Full Score
Solo Tenor Trombone
Solo Bass Trombone
Solo Tuba
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom (3)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

sounding field: the deep is based on my piece sounding field for low brass trio written for Ohio University’s 3BASSO. sounding field: the deep was composed at the request of Dr. Andrew Trachsel, Director of Bands at Ohio University. The piece features the original trio instruments as soloists. The wind symphony seeks to expand and amplify the original trio music, which has largely been left unchanged. Below is the original program note for the trio version of the piece.

The title refers not only to the practice of making sound but, more pointedly, to the practice of depth finding for a body of water. The piece employs a rigid pitch field across the combined ranges of the three instruments. As such, it is an exploration of this pitch field, eventually finding the outer reaches and hidden melodic quirks.

The formal aspects of sounding field were developed after a great deal of thinking about gyil (African xylophone) music and Classical Indian music. The two are formally similar in that there can be an introduction in which the scale or pitch field is worked through improvisationally. This connection came to light after a conversation with composer Asha Srinivasan on her own Classical Indian-inspired music. In gyil music, this introduction is called the piila and is meant to “warm up” the instrument. I think, in both of these contexts, this introduction also serves to slowly teach the audience about the work. In the case of sounding field, I’ve used the first section to teach the audience the pitch field that is used throughout the piece as well as important melodic ideas. The second and final section develops and explores these initial ideas against a driving, rhythmic texture.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ohio University (Athens) Wind Symphony (Andrew Trachsel, conductor; 3Basso) – 6 December 2018 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer