William Pagán-Pérez
Mabodamaca’s Meditation:
Bass trombone and piano

Yauco, , Puerto Rico
Publisher: William Pagán-Pérez
Date of Publication: 2013

Score and solo part

Primary Genre: Solo Bass/Contrabass Trombone - with piano

Composer, teacher, and bass trombonist William Pagán-Pérez lives and teaches in Puerto Rico. A program note explaining the title would be a useful addition to this publication, although a look at Puerto Rico’s history points to the subject of the Meditation as very likely being Cacique Mabodamaca, a sixteenth-century chief of Puerto Rico’s Guajataca territory. Mabodamaca is remembered in Puerto Rico as a defender of his people and their way of life as Europeans pushed westward into the Americas.

Mabodamaca’s Meditation covers wide stylistic ground, from a high, soft opening section—this is not for the faint of heart since it reaches up to c2—to an active episode with triple tongued passages, glissandi, and low register playing down to FF-sharp. The piano writing and episodic nature of the piece is reminiscent of works by Norman Bolter such as Saggitarius2. The high tessitura of this short work takes it out of the reach of younger players, but it certainly could find a place on recital programs of university students who are looking for a programmatic work, perhaps as one of a set of compositions that form a suite on the theme of contemplation. The edition is published by the composer on fine quality paper, is laid out clearly, and is marred only by an impossible page turn between pages three and four in the bass trombone solo part.

Reviewer: Douglas Yeo
Review Published June 15, 2023