ITEA Gem Series No. 21 by Jeffrey Meyer
Palindromes for Solo Euphonium
Tuba player, conductor, and composer Jeffrey Meyer has performed around the U. S. with groups such as the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, the Bethany Brass Quintet, CityMusic Cleveland, the new music ensemble FiveOne, the Kent Brass Quintet, and the Fountain City Brass Band. His playing can be heard on the album Facing the Mirror by the Dave Rivello Ensemble and Natural Melodies, recorded for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. He has performed as a soloist with the University Circle Wind Ensemble and the Kent Wind Ensemble, he performed in the Teatime Concert Series in Tallahassee, Florida and the 2008 Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, and he has served on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Luzerne Music Center. He has also commissioned and premiered new works by Chappell Kingsland, Keith Kirchoff, Michael Bratt, and Hannah Lash.
Jeff received the DMA degree in tuba performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a masters degree in conducting and tuba performance from Kent State University, and a bachelors degree in performance from the Eastman School of Music. His tuba teachers were Don Harry, Craig Knox, John Bottomley, and Ron Bishop. He studied conducting with Wayne Gorder and Frank Wiley, with additional instruction from Charles Peltz and Brad Lubman. He has also studied composition with Thomas Janson, Matthew Barber, Ken Eberhard, and Todd Coleman.
Program Notes by the Composer
The Palindromes were composed in the summer of 2007. At that time I was studying music theory texts and examining some harmonic features in the music of Liszt, Grieg, and Scriabin. I decided that I would play through some of the examples in the book, and then thought that it might be fun to try something creative while exploring these works. As I played the progressions over and over again, I remembered the nature of a palindrome, which might help get the sound and flavors of these harmonies in my ear. I searched Google and found a long list of known phrases that are palindromes, and chose titles that inspired these musical ideas. “Do geese see God?” is quizzical in nature, but also searching for truth, and serves as an appropriate introductory movement. The second palindrome, “Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas,” is at times wicked, other times mysterious, and evokes the image of metal shimmering from sympathetic vibrations. The final movement, “Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?” is a hopeful and satirical political march. The resulting shortworks sound nothing like the composers mentioned above, but I hope you will still enjoy them.