"Steam" by Barrie Forgie, the first movement of the "Energy Suite" commissioned by Surrey Brass in 2012.
“Steam” opens the suite since it contains two vital things, pistons, and the feelings of a child. When Forgie was a child train spotter in his home town of Peterborough he often saw the “great streaks” like Mallard flash past, and in this piece tries to depict the rhythm of these massive machines. He cunningly sets up a pattern and drive and builds from this underlying rock feel to depict the inexorable pattern of a steam engine. The second theme is based on the blues, is superimposed on the first with harmonic use of the whole tone scale to provide contrasting machinery sounds. The theme is on tuba and bass trombone to reflect the feelings of a small boy in the presence of these massive monster machines. The piece ends the journey with the train coming to a halt in a station with some rather fantastic special effects of hissing steam.
A live Recording made at the Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton at the premiere of this work on 24th October 2012, conducted by the composer.