Sean William Calhoun | Composer and pianist

An Invisible Titan: Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble (2014) – 12'

I. "Thick black forests..."
II. "...and jagged mountains..."
III. "...and deep turbulent oceans"
An Invisible Titan is in three continuous movements, all taking their titles from a quote in the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, episode 13, “A Story About You” (the same quote that gave the work its overall title). The first movement, “Thick black forests...” tends toward dense textures of parts overlapping, obscuring each other, with the percussion distantly rumbling. The second movement, “...and jagged mountains...” grows into stark spires of Eb as the theme from the first section transforms into something more angular. At the end of the movement, the ensemble builds up again, recalling the towering Eb octaves that began it, interrupted by rhythmic motive from the middle of the movement. From there, it plunges directly into the third movement, “...and deep, turbulent oceans,” with a massive chord surrounded by chromatic swirling. Quintuplets infiltrate the ensemble, beginning with the percussion, then spreading through the winds. As the section seems near to its climax, it instead descends, the bass trombone reaching down to its lowest notes of the piece before launching the ensemble into a coda in 5/8 (an extension of the previous quintuplets). The coda propels the work to its close, the soloist’s ascent paralleling Cecil’s final words in the episode, “You reach up...”