Shine is my second large scale work for solo tuba, following on from my concerto Episodes and Echoes. Like the concerto, Shine was commissioned and premiered (with the Grimethorpe Brass Band, conducted by Howard Evans) by Les Neish – the title being an anagram of the soloist surname.
Although in one movement, Shine has 3 broad sections, each requiring virtuosic skill and dexterity from the soloist. The opening section features lots of bright, metallic sounds – especially in the percussion section – providing the accompaniment to soloist as they demonstrate the range and flexibility of the tuba.
The second section gives the soloist the opportunity to demonstrate the considerable lyricism that the tuba is capable of. The solo line weaves in and out of textures in the accompaniment, exchanging snippets of melody with other players in the ensemble.
After a short unaccompanied passage, the final section emerges juxtaposing new solo lines and material from the opening section. This builds in momentum – and difficulty for the soloist – as the piece reaches its climatic ending.
Shine is dedicated to my good friend, fellow Liverpool supporter, and amazing musician, Les Neish.
Peter Meechan, 2011