Brass and Bronze (2013)

On Saturday 13th July, Brass and Bronze was performed by the Bespoke Brass ensemble at Cutting Edge Brass, a concert put on by Colchester New Music. For more information about the concert itself, and the other pieces performed, please visit Colchester New Music’s Cutting Edge Brass page.

As soon as the opportunity to write for brass quintet presented itself, the thought of combining it with bells immediately came to mind. Bells play a large part in my life as I regularly ring bells in the local glass tower, and they have influenced a number of my pieces in recent years. Whilst thinking my way around the piece, I realised that both brass and bells are used in the key moments in life: bells are used to summon people to celebrations of life, death, births, and other various key moments. Similarly, brass instruments of various types are used in celebratory fanfares, bugle calls, to call people to events in both times of celebration and times of hardship, such as war. It therefore seemed appropriate to use the opportunity to create a piece celebrating the use of both ‘sets’ of instruments as communicators to humankind.

The piece draws on all of the above as inspiration. You can find examples of bugle calls and change ringing both in the rhythmic and melodic patterns used, with the repetition of sections mimicking the driving patterns found in method ringing. There are also tolling bells, mainly represented by the bell samples.

The samples used are those of the Aldbourne Bells, from the sample library of the same name recorded and created by Ian Palmer (many thanks must go to him for both providing me with the library and allowing me to use the samples in the piece).

I am grateful to Bespoke Brass – Steve Drury (director, trumpet 1) Steve Tomalin (trumpet 2), Eddie Morgan (horn), Paul Yarrow (trombone), Chris Bearman (tuba) and Stuart Russell (electronics) for the performance, and for letting me share the below recording.

2 Replies to “Brass and Bronze (2013)”

  1. John ManningMay 11, 2016 at 11:44 pmReply

    Dear Jenni,

    Brilliant work! I am interested in possibly performing this work in October with the Iowa Brass Quintet at the University of Iowa. Would it be possible to obtain the score, brass parts and the electronic tracks? Thank you,

    1. jennipinnockMay 27, 2016 at 9:24 pmReply

      Dear John,

      Apologies for the slow reply – WordPress filtered your comment as spam (how dare it!).

      You’d be more than welcome to perform the track. Would you be to email me your email address to jenni AT ?

      All best,


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