(1991) (ca. 12’)
- Part 1: Misbehavior/Out of control
- Part 2: Vulgar Behavior/Gross stuff
- Part 3: Crisis of Confidence/Whining and whimpering
- Part 4: Behavior Becoming/Reflection and Introspection
- Part 5: With Flying Colors/Putting It All Together
The initial inspiration for Behavioral Science was as follows: a few years ago, a trombonist friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join him and a few of “da boys” in attending the premiere of the “Beavis and Butthead” movie. Whoa. Beavis and Butthead with the low brass; a most stimulating prospect. A previous and, I’m sure, less interesting engagement kept me away, but the formative idea behind Behavioral Science was born: how do you civilize the eternal adolescent that is the trombone/trombonist without taking away its/his/her essential energy and joie de vivre?
Behavioral Science, then, is “about” the trombone and, to a degree, trombone players themselves (which, by the way, I was once one myself and my daughter presently is). The piece begins with the trombone completely out of control – a raucous, screaming, stuttering length of lacquered plumbing. Across the span of the piece the trombone gradually learns lyricism and self-discipline, gaining maturity and, ultimately, self-mastery. Behavioral Science concludes with a series of extremely virtuosic passages that require, as they do, the most exacting control imaginable.
Behavioral Science was composed between December, 1997 and February, 1998. It is dedicated with great affection and gratitude to Neil Hatler for his help, advice, and tireless dedication to the piece.