The sounds produced by brass instruments sometimes have striking affinities with human speech. Table Talk investigates this premise, reimagining the symphonic brass ensemble as a collection of human voices. The composition deals in observational humour, representing different modes of speech heard among people at shared tables – in restaurants, cafes, or at home. Over the course of three short movements I explore mannerisms associated with gossiping, ranting and bantering and underscore them with playful percussive grooves.
Table Talk was commissioned by the Tanglewood Music Center for its 2018 season, and was generously supported by the Merwin Geffen, M.D. and Norman Solomon, M.D. New Commissions Fund.