“Third Stream of Consciousness”
Composer Ed Morse’s writing for brass has been described by critics as “fusing elements of jazz, classical, and commercial music to create fresh and exciting music.” Dr. Morse’s compositions have been played by notable groups such as the Appalachian Brass Orchestra, the Memphis Pro Trombone Ensemble, the Calvin Smith Festival Brass, the Chattanooga Tuba Euphonium Quartet, and the Memphis Tuba Euphonium Ensemble. His love for early music has translated into nearly 200 arrangements of Baroque and Renaissance music. Dr. Morse currently teaches trombone, euphonium, and tuba at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. He plays second trombone in the Jackson Symphony (TN) and can be heard playing with orchestras and chamber groups throughout the Southeastern United States.
Dr. Morse holds a DMA in Trombone Performance from the University of Memphis and a MM in performance from Baylor University in Waco, TX. He studied music education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His primary teachers include Don Hough, John Mueller, Kevin Chiarizzio, and Brent Phillips. He is currently finishing a book based on his doctoral dissertation, “Teaching Alto Trombone Through Performance of Seventeenth-, Eighteenth-, and Nineteenth-Century Sonatas and Art Songs.”
In 1957, composer Gunther Schuller coined the phrase and genre Third Stream to describe the synthesis of jazz and classical music. The term stream of consciousness was first introduced by William James in his 1890 book Principles of Psychology to describe the continuous flow of sense perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and memories in the human mind. In Third Stream of Consciousness, this translates to a melding of funk and classical styles with new musical material being added throughout the composition.
Rhythm and articulation are of utmost importance, especially on the funk inspired melody and bass lines. Listen to a string bass player for an idea of the correct articulation. Often the euphonium players will have a legato melody and the tuba players will answer with a heavily syncopated bass line. Bring out this contrast. The two tubas must match style in the call and response section at letter B. The euphoniumists must really sell the hairpins later in this section. Letter C to D is a continuous accelerando. Hold the fermata before letter D long enough to create dramatic effect. Another accelerando occurs four measures before letter E and should increase the tempo back to tempo I. If technique allows, the ending can be played faster. Bring out the various contrasts and enjoy the composition!