Ballade, Three Meditations, and Recitative and Aria were all written so that I could perform them on my new sackbut. I have performed all of them on sackbut, some more than once. I believe they would work just as well on trombone.
Three Meditations is an early work. The Bellagio Meditations were composed for a birthday concert given at California Statue University Dominguez Hills for composer, Elliott Schwartz. Elliott and I were both residents at the Rockefeller Retreat Center at Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy. I wrote this piece commemorating both Elliot’s birthday and his two residencies at Bellagio. Elegy for igor was composed for a memorial concert for my long time musical partner, guitarist, and composer, igor. He died suddenly of a heart attack. We had started together a group called OGOGO that performed music from the Renaissance to Baroque era, straight ahead jazz, and avant-garde. Elegy is recorded on my NineWinds recording, Bonescape, for three trombones and electronics. Prelude & Fantasy is
the most recent of these works.
Free Trombone Music from Rod Oakes
For three or four years, trombonists Geroge McMullen and Lane Moore and I were all working at Los Angeles Harbor College. We took advantage of the situation and presented a series of concerts that included Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, along with avant-garde improvised music. Frequently we would include a rhythm section and perform straight ahead jazz. Lane moved back to Australia, and George moved to New York. Just before we went our separate ways, I convinced them to record some of the original works I had written for the group. We called the group OGOGO Bones as were an extension of the group igor and I had organized. We recorded Rondo for OGOGO Bones with just three trombones. In addition, I used MIDI technology with my instrument, and Geroge also used electronic devices. I added an electronic accompaniment. I re-wrote the piece for four trombones for the magnificent Elysian Trombone Consort who performed it at a College Music Society Conference in San Diego. That is the version presented here.
Over the years, I have composed a number of works for trombone. All have been performed by me and other trombone players. With my own performances, I have usually incorporated MIDI a MIDI component. I usually use my trombone as a MIDI controller, and I include a software synthesizer. The approach and software has changed dramatically over the years. In fact, I originally began using simply an processors, an Echoplex, Mutron, a Zoom, and other devices originally designed for use with guitars. MIDI opened up new opportunities to me.
These pieces can be performed without the electronic or digital enhancement. They can be performed as pure acoustic pieces. This is a choice that I leave up to the performer.
I have discovered that it is difficult to get these pieces published. Some of my early works were published by SeeSaw Press, and allegedly still are. SeeSaw Press is now owned by someone else, and I do not believe they even know if I exist. I am not interested in selling huge numbers of works for the trombone. But, I am interested in sharing these pieces with other adventuresome trombonists. If you fall into that category, feel free to download them and enjoy them. If you do perform one or more of them publicly, I would appreciate knowing it so that I can inform ASCAP in my request for a yearly grant.
I am going to keep adding works to this page. The first ones are for unaccompanied trombone. I will then add works for trombone or sackbut with piano accompaniment, and also duets, trios and quartets.
I hope you have as much fun with these as I have had over the past several years.
To examine a work, click on the title. You can download the PDF version by printing and saving as a PDF file.