Eight Dudes (solo trumpet, multiple instruments)


Eight Dudes (solo trumpet, multiple instruments)


8 miniature pieces.

Solos on B-flat trumpet, B-flat cornet, E-flat trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn

ca. 10:00

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Eight Dudes was written for Russel Whitehead, and premiered in 2005.

Duration: ca. 10:00



(B-flat trumpet, B-flat cornet, B-flat flugelhorn and B-flat piccolo trumpet, E-flat trumpet)

The title came first. Eight Dudes is a play on “études,” suggesting a collection of short pieces that engage the virtuosity of both the performer and the composer. Eight movements were clearly required, so there emerged eight further puns on the initial play-on-words, eight evocative movement titles from which the music grew. These “dudes” are definitely études, but also character pieces: a lineup of exaggerated moods and personalities. The movements are unified by closely related four-note pitch sets, but the main impetus for the work was dramatic and conceptual. There is an exploration of duality on many levels, from the duet for soloist and self in A Tune, to the quick-draw showdown in “High Noon,” to the contrast of a movement with no notes (“Point Moot”) to one with as many notes as possible (“The Move”).

This set of pieces is intended to be performed as a whole, with the movements in the specified order, but certain movements might stand up well on their own.

Eight Dudes is not specifically a theatre piece, but it may be performed with as much theatrical staging and imagination as the performer desires. At the premiere, for example, the soloist wore the fedora used as a hat mute in “Dark Moon” on his head. I have found that the use of five different instruments in the course of eight short movements is theatrical in and of itself!

Performers may substitute different trumpets for the ones specified if necessary, as long as the original keys are respected and the work retains a wide variation in tone colour.

- Alex Eddington