for tuba and piano
Though sections of the work may sound reminiscent of music from detective movies and television, the title derives from what turned out to be a longwinded task of attempting to compose a simple melody. I had written several failed sketches before finally writing one. In turn, the form of the work unfolds like a detective trying to solve a mystery. In this case, the mission is to find the melody.
The work begins with sly, wandering gestures, and then progresses through a series of contrasting scenes. These scenes are not intended to depict any event in particular. In fact, many of the cinematic moments were pure accidents from my first sketches. However, at times, passages may depict a smoky bar setting with a jazz combo in the background or perhaps, a quarrelsome incident. By the end of the work, a melody in its full form is finally discovered. Along the way, fragments and "clues" of the tune are embedded within the wandering gestures in the tuba.
Sleuth was commissioned by tubist, David Holben.