'Dusk' is a curious piece for me. This quintet was written for the Brockton Symphony Chamber series for a concert at the beginning of 2020. I wrote it very quickly, it all seemed to come together much faster than I normally write. It was of a very somber and darker nature than my usual optimistic brassy music. It feels very inspired by some of the darker moments in the music of Shostakovich, almost like hearing the sound/music of winter. When we premiered it, I did not quite grasp what this darker piece really meant. Until the following month, when I learned of passing of my dear friend and family member, Chrissy Hebert. I had very much unknowingly written my first piece of funeral music.
'Dusk' begins with a solo horn, which establishes an almost vocal-like melodic frame. Very simple stepwise motions, slow and at times trying to be triumphant. The horn solo leads us to a passage marked 'Somber Bell Tones' which features the odd sonority of muted trumpets and horn. From there the work picks up tempo with the feeling of defiance. Angry brass fanfares, and broken accompaniment. The main melody is stretched and emerges frequently, but never finds true resolution. The climax reaches a hopeful moment. But, the mournful theme appears again, in the solo tuba, juxtaposed by a return of the somber bell tones of the muted trumpets. The work slowly burns out like an ember, the horn returns to the exact pitch it started. The same, but transformed.