Notes by Jim Self The cover of this CD shows 'Monica', my new 6/4 Yamaha CC Tuba (somewhat oversized), with me stretching to play it. It illustrates my feeling in tackling this recording project. It has been a 'big stretch' to write and perform this music. The CD is a collection of new music for tuba by me and some of my favorite composers. Since my first feeble attempts to compose (about 10 years ago), I have found great challenge and fun in writing. Some of those pieces for tuba are featured here. The others (with the exception of the Tchaikovsky) were commissioned for this recording. Beginning in 1995 with the Los Tubas pieces, it took four years to put together and record all the works. Collectively they cover many styles and formats including: solo tuba, two tubas, four tubas and vibraphone, six tubas and percussion, tuba and piano, tuba and harp, and tuba in brass quintet. I have trouble describing this CD. 'Everything but the kitchen sink' comes to mind. It's not pure classical, although there are many classical elements. It's not jazz, but does have some improvization, and some jazz styling and harmonies. Like my daily work and my musical interests, this recording reflects the eclectic world in which I live and play. Most of the pieces are difficult--but ultimately playable by good tubists. I hope many will find them to be good concert literature (and fun to play). This recording is special to me because it started as an idea and blossomed into something totally unexpected. The unique combination of music, composers, musicians and recordists would be difficult to find anywhere but in Los Angeles. It is wonderful to have well-known tubists Tommy Johnson, Gene Pokorny and Norm Pearson on this recording but especially great to introduce two young free-lance tubists, Fred Greene and Doug Tornquist (Doug and Fred are former students of mine--and we all studied with Tommy).