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Trumpets of Jubilee for 12 Trumpets
By Eddie Lewis
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Trumpets of Jubilee
for 12 Trumpets
by Eddie Lewis
Trumpets of Jubilee is Eddie Lewis' most major trumpet ensemble work to date. It features an ensemble of twelve trumpets being sectioned into opposing choirs of three, four and six at different stages of the piece.
Stylistically, Trumpets of Jubilee contrasts modern fugue writing with fanfare melodies floating over a rhythmic drone. It is not a traditional form. A fanfare builds up to and introduces the first theme of the fugue. The fugue is very modern with much chromaticism and dissonance. In the third section, after the fugue, a drone is introduced in the bottom eight parts. Over that drone, a fanfare is executed with high notes and cascading resolutions. After the drone, fanfare section dies out, a new theme is taken up in the lower parts, with some counterpoint, but not quite a genuine fugue this time. The theme is developed quickly then we return to the rhythmic drone to finish off the piece with a big build up right before the final notes.
The compositional objective behind Trumpets of Jubilee was to create a twelve trumpet work for which all the parts are necessary. For that reason, this is not a piece that can be scaled down to a smaller instrumentation.
The name “Trumpets of Jubilee” comes from the Bible. Leviticus 25:8-12 says that the fiftieth year is a year of rest and atonement, consecrated to God as being holy.
“Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land.”
It is not a coincidence that Lewis chose 12 trumpets and not some arbitrary number. The number twelve represents the twelve sons/tribes of Israel and also the 12 disciples of Jesus. If you know Mr. Lewis' stance on so called “Biblical Numerology”, then you may see this as a contradiction. This is what he has to say about the use of the number twelve in this composition.
“As most of my friends know, I am firmly opposed to the practice of biblical numerology. I consider it a dangerous distraction with the potential to lead well meaning Christians towards the occult. My use of the number twelve in this context is symbolic, not mystical. The number twelve represents the twelve tribes. Leviticus 25:9 says that the trumpet should be sounded throughout the land. That land was divided into twelve areas, so the twelve trumpets represents the trumpets to be blown in each of those areas. For the record, I am not using the number twelve in an effort to manipulate a desired outcome. That would be witchcraft and I am completely opposed to that sort of thing.”
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