Program Notes

PSR B0531+21 is the technical designation of the centermost neutron star in the supernova colloquially referred to as the Crab Nebula. The star magnificently exploded on July 4, 1054 according to a number of ancient witnesses including the astronomers of the Song Dynasty, and the Anasazi located in present day Arizona and New Mexico.

The frequency of the electromagnetic beam emitted by the Crab Pulsar is just over 30 pulses per minute, and it is getting a few nanoseconds longer every day. The decelerating and asymmetrical pulse is a rich source for both pitch and rhythmic material.

This piece for solo trumpet explores two competing models of time: an unrelentingly fixed metrical time, and a type of static, or frozen time. Using echo and repetition as a point of departure, time is treated as a malleable material looking forward to the past and remembering the future.

Pulsar [Variant II] was commissioned by Toshi Chun.

Related Work

Pulsar [Variant I]

horn and computer


trombone and computer

Ursa Minor

euphonium and computer