TON 618


“TON 618” for solo tuba or bass clarinet


TON 618 for solo tuba or bass clarinet (duration: 3′)

for Robert Mott Jr.

(originally for solo tuba; adapted for bass clarinet in 2023)

TON 618 is a short scherzo for solo tuba written as part of my project to take on “mini-commissions” for unaccompanied works during the spring and summer of 2020.

TON 618 is the most massive black hole currently on record, estimated to be 66,000,000,000 times as massive as our Sun (or roughly 132,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg). Naturally, I thought this was an appropriate title for a tuba solo!

The piece is full of meter changes, leaning into the “weird” aspect of black holes, with a virtuosic cadenza that spans the entire range of the instrument. And of course, there is a slow-moving passage in the low register meant to evoke the work’s namesake itself.