James’ Concerto for Trumpet was recently performed by the Beach Cities Orchestra. Conducted by Maestro Barry Brisk and featuring John Cather on trumpet, the work was brilliantly played!
Following are the program notes:
The initial inspiration for this work began in 5th grade when I was first introduced to the trumpet. I was fascinated with the instrument because of its strength of character and ability to be intimate as well. The band Chicago, Doc Severinsen, Herb Alpert, and the wealth of film music I was exposed to through the years, led to me to write and perform my earliest arrangements for the trumpet. The Sonata for Trumpet by Halsey Stevens, who was a mentor to my mentors, and Jolivet’s Concerto for Trumpet, were later inspirations.
My daily work as a composer for film at times ends in some frustration because as the famous composer Jerry Goldsmith was known to quip at the end of his recording sessions, “Well, this will all sound very nice underneath the sound effects!” So when a friend of mine Mark Gould, the principal trumpet in the New York Metropolitan Opera, suggested I write a work for trumpet, I jumped at the opportunity.
Conceived as a three movement work, I wanted to challenge the constraints of the instrument and highlight all that I appreciate about it. In tonality and rhythm I’ve sought to push outward, yet remain in the “listenable zone”. In the choice of orchestration, I have chosen to contrast the trumpet with only the string orchestra and percussion, giving me the opportunity in the concerto format, to make comparisons and contrasts all the more vibrant.
As to my creative spark here I defer to Stravinsky who would bluntly say about his innovations “Only God can create. I make music from music.” Soli Deo Gloria
"It was my pleasure to work with James." Ralph Winter - Film Producer
"James Covell has propelled our films into another level of emotion. He is a very visual composer." David Silberg, Producer - Santa With Muscles
"He is of course completely versed in every aspect of film composition and scoring and it is a joy to behold Jim, baton in hand, conducting a full orchestra for your film! And his western themes for my feature film THE RIDE still stand, in my mind, among his greatest works." Michael Sajbel, Director - The Ride
"His music stirs my soul." James O'Keeffe, Director
"James Covell is on the forefront of the music industry with his 2 Pack CD/DVD Sampler." Dwight Knoll - Music Critic
"He's the man for our film." Mark Higley, Writer/Director
"His bluesy, soulful score for my film COME THE MORNING was truly evocative." M. Sajbel, Director, Come The Morning
James addresses the Producers Guild of America Master Class.
"James Covell was the perfect composer for my film. He's very adaptable, a musical chameleon in a sense. He's able to hear a musical style and emulate it and yet bring his own creativity to it." George Taweel, Producer - TLC
"James Covell is a very creative composer. His outstanding work spans many genres and has grown in excellence year after year. Several years ago, I asked him to compose a musical soundscape for one of the most difficult dramatic television series that I have ever confronted. His compositions and presentation were wonderful. I would recommend him highly to anyone in need of top-drawer professional talent." Coleman Luck, Writer/Executive Producer