The SCP Foundation is a fictional extra-governmental organization dedicated to securing, containing, and protecting numerous paranormal entities. Created by a thriving online community of writers, each “SCP” is a form of short fiction that describes the physical and mysterious properties of the entity, typically in a dry, bureaucratic tone. This sonata for trombone and piano was inspired by three of these remarkably creative stories.
SCP-882 “Machine God” describes a sentient collection of metallic gears that compels humans to add more and more components to its mass. Anyone near the entity will experience auditory hallucinations of ticking, grinding, and clicking sounds that gradually increase in intensity. The object is depicted musically as a persistent ostinato built by layer upon layer of polyrhythms and quick darting motives.
SCP-1342 “Future Voyager” is an object that is nearly identical to the Voyager I space probe launched in 1977. However, the SCP was constructed in the year 42,412 AD by a civilization hundreds of light years from Earth. Like Voyager, it contains a “golden record” that holds a message for humanity. The civilization that built it found Voyager and learned much of humanity’s achievements in art and science. The two cultures flourished from their communications across the stars. As technology improved and resources dwindled, they eventually clashed and humanity almost completely wiped out its rival. The few survivors sent a replica of Voyager into the distant past to warn humanity of its future and remind them of the music they shared. Famously, the Cavatina from Beethoven’s String Quartet no. 13 was included on the original “golden record” and is quoted in the movement.
SCP-682 “Hard-to-Destroy Reptile” is a large, hyper-intelligent reptilian creature that can withstand and adapt to almost any force or environmental hazard. One of the oldest and most beloved SCP’s, it has become something of a mascot for the author community. The big lizard is given a raucous Latin dance that incorporates slide glissandi as well as reincorporating the previous movements’ themes into its sturdy frame.
Jeremy Wilson, Vanderbilt University, lead commissioner Drew Leslie, Colorado State University, co-lead commissioner David Begnoche, Texas Christian University Josh Bynum, University of Georgia Brad Edwards, Arizona State University Peter Ellefson, Jacobs School of Music - Indiana University Timothy Higgins, San Francisco Symphony/Northwestern University Stephen Ivany, California State University, Fresno Megumi Kanda, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Ben McIlwain, University of Southern Mississippi Cory Mixdorf, University of Arkansas Bradley Palmer, Columbus State University Bruce Tychinski, University of Delaware