Written for the JMU Saxophone Ensemble, Failed Combustion is a piece built to play on
extremes for a melodramatic and humorous effect. There are two main sections that
characterize the piece, one slow and lyrical, the other fast and jagged. In the piece,
there is this intentional feeling of trying to start a fire, but never actually accomplishing
it. Much in the same way, this piece ends not with a roaring fire, but a puff of smoke.