Six Bones for Six Bones, for trombone sextet
“Six Bones for Six Bones” was first performed in 2015 by the trombone studio of the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. Each movement of this sextet describes a different skeletal bone. The calcaneus, or ankle bone, is key in jumping or leaping; accordingly, the trombones repeatedly jump across partials. The ossicles are small bones in the inner ear, dysfunction of which can cause ringing in the ears, or tinnitus. The mandible, or jawbone, is essential in speech, or "jawboning". The frontal bone overlies, and co-evolved with, the frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for higher functions, as in holding two contradictory thoughts at once. The femur or thigh bone is necessary for walking, or, as here, learning new dance steps. Grant's textbook of anatomy states that, in forming a fist to strike a blow, the impact surface falls on the second and third metacarpals, or proximal bones of the dominant hand. So the last movement is something of a boxing match.
Performance time: approx. 12:30
Appropriate for recitals, ensemble concerts, and contests.