Campane, a low brass quintet (2016)


Movement 1: ca. 6:30
Movement 2: ca. 4:00
Movement 3: ca. 3:30


Michael Gast, Horn
Douglas Wright and Kari Sundström, Trombones
Andrew Chappell, Bass Trombone
Steven Campbell, Tuba


Recorded October 18, 2018 at Creation Audio, Minneapolis, MN.
Doug Carlsen, recording supervisor
Steven Wiese, recording engineer
Edited, mixed and mastered by Andre Zweers and Judy Kirschner
Video by Cavitt Productions


February 2, 2020 by members of the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis.


I composed Campane (Bells in Italian) in the Autumn of 2016,  after a summer trip to Europe. The sound of pealing church bells heard in France and Italy was on my mind. Those bells triggered different feelings. I heard mourning bells, bells that sounded celebratory and bells that seemed to signal danger. Those sounds seemed to fit with brass instruments whose tone emits from another form of bell. 

The first movement,“Toll,” suggests the tolling of bells – something usually associated with death. But, I also meant the toll that death takes on those left behind. While working on this movement I took walks on the beach and listened to the sounds made by the rough northern California surf. I heard dissonance in the crash of the waves against each other, it reminded me of a number of bells ringing at once – chaotic and with jumbled meaning. The sound reminded me of my own grief. 

Movement two evokes the ringing of the heart when touched by love. A love found, felt or lost.

The final movement is inspired by the bell that rings to warn of danger. This music suggests the enhanced focus and sense of panic that comes with that bell (or more commonly, a siren). There is with that feeling a sense of anger, confusion, denial and sometimes surrender.


Campane (Bells) received an Honorable Mention in the Bay Colony Brass’ 1st Annual Call for Scores. View more here.