Good Cop, Bad Cop for tuba and piano (2014) - 9'
*also available for Euphonium and Piano
Commissioned by a consortium,
led by Christian Carichner
Premiere: April 13, 2014
Meyerson Symphony Center
Christian Carichner, Tuba
University of Central Arkansas
Ricky Brooks, Conductor
I’ve always been a fan of a certain level of “against the grain” when it comes to my writing. When Christian Carichner and I finally agreed that I had no choice but to write a piece for him, I knew this would be no different.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is a study in role reversal. For starters, using the tuba as a solo instrument is far from standard in current orchestral and wind band trends. I have always been fascinated by the range and textural possibilities of the tuba, and I figured I would explore as many aspects as possible with this piece.
My image of the “good cop, bad cop” routine (albeit based mostly on Leslie Nielsen-esque examples) is that of a relentless and exhausting back-and-forth between fuzz and felon. The “bad cop” is brutal and threatening, while the “good cop” is sympathetic and understanding. This idea is expressed musically through numerous conflicts. Throughout the piece, different factions of the ensemble often stand at odds, whether it be soloist versus ensemble, brass versus woodwinds, etc. There are conflicting time signatures, polar opposite rhythmic structures, fast vs. slow, loud vs. soft, and everything in between.
Good Cop, Bad Cop is dedicated to Christian Carichner, a great friend, colleague, and partner in crime. I hope that this collaboration will be only the beginning of many more!
The Euphonium (super trumpet!) version of Good Cop, Bad Cop, was premiered by Cale Self and the University of West Georgia Wind Ensemble, Josh Byrd, conductor. I also owe Josh an enormous debt of gratitude for his meticulous editorial advice.