snapshot of score of 60 Minims

60 Minims

for trumpet and General MIDI — 1995, a 60th birthday present for Elgar Howarth

As I took my bow after the slightly unfortunate Barbican performance of my mass of semiquavers, Double Entendre, the conductor Elgar Howarth said to me, ‘For God’s sake, Chris, write some minims!’ I took him at his word and, for his sixtieth birthday wrote this piece, in which the solo trumpet plays exactly sixty minims and nothing else. What goes on in the rest of it is, however, another matter!

The original audio realisation I made of this is now lost — and in any case the ‘master’ was only on a cassette! — so I’ve taken another look at it and made a new realisation. In any case, General MIDI is now pretty much a thing of the past, so I’ve reinterpreted that aspect of it somewhat, with a mixture of realistic virtual instruments and obviously synthesized sounds. In the recording presented here, the solo trumpet is of course a virtual instrument like the other sounds, but I’ve done my best to make it stand out from the rest reasonably clearly — listen out for minims!

At the moment I have no plans to make an arrangement for trumpet and some sort of ensemble — it would be difficult, and I’m not convinced the piece is good enough. Nevertheless, it’s here for your listening and dining pleasure, and if anyone (a commissioning body of some sort?) would really like me to arrange it, I could well be persuaded to think again.


Performances / broadcasts / ‘real’ recordings

Listen to MIDI version (4:54)