‘sleep-weary’ for Solo Euphonium

Written in early 2020 by Ben Williams-Stacey, this piece for solo Euphonium has two main inspirations.

The first is the Old English word ‘Slæpwerigne‘, a hapex legomenon (a word that appears only once) from the tenth-century Exeter Book. It translates to ‘sleep-weary’, although it is unclear whether that means “weary with sleep” or “weary for sleep”. This links to the second inspiration, which is the composer’s experience with chronic insomnia, and how that could relate to all possible interpretations of that word.

Advanced but accessible difficulty. This work utilises a wide range (B1-C4) but no extreme highs or lows. It also includes some simple extended techniques such as half-valving, glissandi (lip and valve), and notational devices such as feathered beams (accel. and decel.).

Performance note: The final bar (‘fragile‘) is to be performed with a marked vibrato, and is to diminuendo as much as possible, even to the point where the note is unstable and breaking.

Duration – ~4 minutes

Bb Treble clef, bass clef part available on request