tenor trombone and large ensemble

Commission: SMCQ

Premiere: December 9, 1999, Triplé, Salle Pierre-Mercure — Centre Pierre-Péladeau, Montréal (Québec)

There are a rare number of persons on this earth who are said to shoot faster than their own shadow. One of these is Alain Trudel, whose lightening speed slide action and embouchure has likely taken more than one person’s breath away. Another is Walter Boudreau who, thanks to his magic baton, is so dead on he can even deliver the fifth sixty-fourth note in a septuplet figure, from a distance of two meters… blind-folded! There is also your humble servant, who rose to the challenge of writing these fifty-three pages of pure entertainment in a mere eighteen days. And last but not least, there is Lucky Luke, the one and only, whose notorious quick draw on a Colt 45 overshadows everything else about him, except perhaps the frank serenity that washes over him as he guides his faithful steed into the sunset, cigarette and half-cocked smile firmly in place, as the final credits roll majestically forward… invariably accompanied by this most celebrated of catchy tunes.

Thank God when Gyorgy Ligeti escaped to the West the guards on duty did not have the same gift for handling firearms as the Lonesome Cowboy. This saving grace for the celebrated Hungarian allowed us to discover a wealth of musical scores among which, if one searches carefully, it is possible to find traces of this legendary America—a place Ligeti dreamed of, perhaps while he was crawling under a barbed-wire fence to escape his native country, lacerating his back in the process. Yep!