Fireflies were making decodable signals on behalf of stranded spirits…

Fireflies Excerpt p4
Excerpt of the score to “…fireflies were making decodable signals on behalf of stranded spirits…”


“…fireflies were making decodable signals on behalf of stranded spirits, or that a bat was writing a legible tale of torture in the bruised and branded sky”.

This is the title of my new piece for bass clarinet and vibraphone (with auxiliary wood and metal objects) that will be premiered on October 9th at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans, Louisiana. The piece, written for Christa Van Alstine and Michael McCurdy, is going to be a part of the Versipel New Music inaugural concert which will also include works by Kari Besharse, Max Duykers, Yotam Haber, David Lang, and Tristan Perich.

The title, intentionally capacious (to the point of absurdity) is taken from a striking passage in Vladimir Nabakov’s Pale Fire (from which the title of Versipel was also taken). To me, this passage references an attempt to capture the essence of an ephemeral moment, precious yet fleeting

More than any work I have written so far, this work really pushes the idea of contrast. The instruments oscillate between disparate extremes of tempo, dynamic, color, and gesture while fluctuating into eerily serene patterns. I’m truly looking forward to hearing Christa and Mike realize this music!

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