So it goes.
for 2 Trumpets
“It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like "Poo-tee-weet?”
-Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
It wasn’t by plan that I wrote a trumpet duet. When asked to write one, I thought it might turn into some obligatory piece that was amorphous and didn’t have any meaning for me once it was finished. Needless to say, it became a lot more than that.
As I was first thinking of the piece, the melody from “Taps” kept trailing through my head, and I was reminded of how odd I felt it was - that a song consisting of only notes from a major triad was played at military funerals. This got me thinking about how I’d picture grief to sound.
“So it goes.” attempts to depict the raw emotion of death rather than a heroic story or commemoration of death. It features different extended techniques for trumpet, asking performers to cry through the trumpet, imitate bombs, and imitate sirens. While the title can be taken in a variety of ways, its original intention was to allude to the endless motif from Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, which appears, somewhat flippantly, after anyone in the book dies.