Oddball Tomatoe, The
The Oddball Tomatoe (sic) is based on a short story (with illustrations) written by a friend of the composer's when he was in the 6th grade, titled “The Tomatoe That Chomped Up New York City”. The story is about a hungry little tomato that chomp-chomp-chomps everything from the carrots in the garden to the barn, the house and more before acquiring a taste for metal, which made him a metal tomato. The first sentence was the inspiration for this piece: “Once there was a little oddball tomatoe.”
He ate cars, a water tower, the city hall and the Empire State Building and became a danger to every city. While walking to California he snatched a plane out of the air and chomped it. The army aimed bombs at him, to no avail. In Los Angeles it started chomping on the power lines as it thought they were spaghetti. Alas, he got shocked to death and fell in the ocean, never to be seen again.
Only the tuba could possibly become the metal tomato and get that big and calamitous, with lots of chomping grace notes along the way. Only three horns could depict little carrots, large buildings, bombs, New York City, power lines and more.
The story made the composer smile, and the piece is basically program music that attempts to musically depict this extra-musical story. The story, however, is not essential to the performance of this piece.
Composer: Anne McGinty
Instrumentation: Tuba & 3 Horns
Duration/# of Pages: ca. 4:20 / 22 pages, 8.5″ x 11″