Motorbike Odyssey

Motorbike Odyssey

Motorbike Odyssey is a concerto for solo tenor trombone and (extended) full orchestra, written by Swedish composer Jan Sandström in 1989. It was dedicated to the trombone virtuoso, Christian Lindberg. The piece is meant to be a musical telling of a modern Odysseus, traveling the world with his trombone.


The performance

Lindberg's world premiere serves as the guideline for how the piece should be performed. The audience sits facing the stage and the orchestra tuning. Suddenly, there is a loud engine sound, and a white motorcycle rolls onto the stage, driven by Lindberg. He is dressed in full, light red leathers and generally makes a very impressive sight. Wasting no time, the orchestra begins with haunting chords, shrieking lower and lower, and the concerto begins.

In the first movement, the soloist imitates the sound of a motorcycle changing gears. The extended trombone technique of flutter tonguing is used in combination with a plunger mute to create this effect. As the trombone section takes over this sound, the soloist shifts into a complicated passage of very high, and very fast notes. This eventually subsides into the cessation of the soloist's playing, as he physically draws out the parts of the globe with his trombone slide.

Movement two is an evocation of the Florida Everglades. The soloist begins by playing the "crocodile chorus", a multiphonic passage that requires the soloist to produce chords with the trombone, as well as sing. This section also includes growling sounds, and other various extended trombone techniques.

Movement three suggests a motorcycle race through French Provence during a Christian procession. It includes more motorcycle sounds, this time with the soloist playing along with the entire trombone section. Eventually the upper winds start playing a religious-sounding melody, and the soloist plays very lightly in the background, the sound of a motorcycle. Though it is the sound of a distant machine, the tones harmonize with the procession music. Eventually the soloist plays a countermelody against the processional music. The movement ends with the soloist playing a very high and loud note until his air is gone. Then he sucks in with a deathly sound and begins the next movement.

Movement four is based on the sounds of aborigine tribes and the desert of Australia. It is essentially a long, virtouso trombone solo played in imitation of the didgeridoo. The soloist plays a pedal B-flat, and sings an F, a twelfth higher. This, combined with different articulations, screams and occasional harmonic changes, creates a sound resembling didgeridoo. The movement ends with another gasp for air.

Movement five is the finale. It begins with a slightly altered version of the "Crocodile Chorus", and recaps the various other movements of the piece. It ends with the soloist flutter tonguing a very loud note while spinning around in circles. This creates a sinusoidal sound effect, with a rising and falling volume. He takes one last gasp for air and harmonizes with the orchestra on a final note that fades into silence.


The orchestration is complex, calling for a full orchestra with additional piano, harp, full percussion section and virtuoso metal plate striker. Perhaps surprisingly, considering some of the sounds in the piece, the score is written in common time and using standard notation, rather than involving improvisation or chance. The solo part itself, at almost 24 minutes in length, is highly complex, spanning the bass, tenor, and treble clefs and calling for considerable extended technique.


  • Sandström, Jan. A Motorbike Odyssey, score and solo part. 1989, rev. 2002.
  • BIS Records, A Motorbike Odyssey Christian Lindberg.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Motorcycle Diaries (book) — This article is about the book. For the movie based on the book, see The Motorcycle Diaries (film). The Motorcycle Diaries   …   Wikipedia

  • Full Metal Jacket —    Warner Bros. , 116 minutes, June 1987 Producer: Stanley Kubrick; Director: Kubrick; Screenplay: Gustav Hasford (based on his novel The Short Timers), Michael Herr, and Kubrick; Cinematography: Douglas Milsome; Assistant Director:Terry Needham; …   The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick

  • Fuerteventura — Infobox Islands name = Fuerteventura image caption = Flag of Fuerteventura image size = 150 px locator native name = native name link = nickname = The place wher no one used to turn to, but now do and Paradise Island location = Atlantic Ocean… …   Wikipedia

  • Magic in Harry Potter — In the Harry Potter series created by J. K. Rowling, magic is depicted as a natural force that can be used to override the usual laws of nature. Many fictional magical creatures exist in the series, while ordinary creatures sometimes exhibit new… …   Wikipedia

  • John Boorman — Infobox Actor imagesize = 250px caption = John Boorman in 2005 birthdate = birth date and age|1933|01|18 birthplace = Shepperton, Surrey, England spouse = Christel Kruse awards = Prix de la mise en scène 1970 Leo the Last 1998 The General John… …   Wikipedia

  • Malcolm (film) — Malcolm Australian DVD cover Directed by Nadia Tass Produced by David Parker Nadia Tass …   Wikipedia

  • Deaths in May 2008 — Contents 1 May 2008 1.1 31 1.2 30 1.3 29 …   Wikipedia

  • Liste De Jeux Amiga De I À O — Listes de jeux vidéo 0 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liste De Jeux PlayStation 2 — Listes de jeux vidéo 0 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liste de jeux Amiga: I-O — Liste de jeux Amiga de I à O Listes de jeux vidéo 0 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”