According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a filibuster is “an action such as prolonged speaking which obstructs progress in a legislative assembly in a way that does not technically contravene the required procedures.”
Largely non-programmatic, Filibuster is cast in four continuous parts. Set off by loud jabs, like a behemoth knocking on a massive door, the tuba climbs out from the depths and springs to life in a swirling, lilting dance. The soloist and ensemble send musical fragments to and fro. Part 2 begins a more tenuous journey. The woodwinds simmer nervously while the tuba sings a plaintive melody, one that never quite takes its full shape. Part 3 features a scherzo-like character that invades the different sections but in the end, succumbs to the unfinished melody of Part 2.
A brief intermezzo brings back the music from Part 1, which is now used as a transition to Part 4. Part 4 is filled with jaunty rhythms, full of child-like chatter that culminates in a feverish climax. As the ensemble reaches this highest point, the tuba takes off like a ballistic rocket. But, instead of going orbital, the music tumbles back to earth, gleaming and shimmering along the way. The opening jabs now return to shut everything down and seal the massive door.