Mariana (2019) 


  1. Vast

  2. Open

  3. Spaces

Duration: 18 minutes


Tuba and Piano


May 28, 2019. Steven Campbell, tuba and Casey Rafn, piano at the International Tuba and Euphonium Convention at Iowa City, Iowa.


Mariana is named for my 21-year-old niece. During the writing of the piece, Mariana was involved in a serious car accident near Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she is studying graphic design. Mariana sustained serious, though not permanent, injuries but two others died in the accident. The near loss of this elegant and talented young woman was heart wrenching. It reminded me how every life is full of possibility, limited only by our own imagination.

 The initial inspiration for Mariana came from the power and grandeur of the rugged Pacific coastline in Bodega Bay, California. Among the robust marine life in that area are the whales that hug the coastline as they migrate. When I imagined them swimming in the deep, cold water I could hear the tuba calling out.

 Those images unexpectedly fit with Mariana. The deepest place on the planet is the Mariana Trench near Guam in the Pacific Ocean. So, this piece is about the vast, open spaces in our oceans, the vast open life ahead of Mariana and ultimately how precious life is.


SJ, Casey Rafn, Steven Campbell, Michael Gast