Rabbit Heaven (1986)
For brass quintet and percussion
Rabbit Heaven is a homage to Bugs Bunny (just as an earlier orchestral piece, Paws 3D, is a homage to Tom and Jerry). The three movements are structured in the form of three imaginary film scores, each preceded by a signature tune, and given absurdly punning titles: ‘Hare Today’, Cold Cross Bunny’ and ‘Hare to Eternity’. The valedictory tone of these titles is not fortuitous: Rabbit Heaven was inspired by the death of a pet rabbit and the central movement contains a funeral dirge.
The conventional brass quintet is joined by a percussionist who doubles as the supplier of sound effects. These sounds are stored as samples which can be triggered by a set of pads which are struck by the player with normal sticks at the moments prescribed in the score.
© Tim Souster
Rabbit Heaven was commissioned by the English Brass Ensemble.