Looking-Glass Insects Program Note

Written for Hub New Music 

Premiered by Hub New Music at Southeastern Louisiana University on April 25th, 2018

This piece is the third installment in a cycle of works for mixed chamber ensemble exploring loosely such themes as tension, disorientation, dysphoria, and childhood bewilderment in the chapters of Lewis Carroll’s book Through the Looking-Glass. Chapter three, Looking-Glass Insects, once again finds Alice coming further untethered from reality, uncertain at a moment’s notice whether she is moving forward or backward (“I don’t belong to this railway journey at all — I was in a wood just now — and I wish I could get back there.”) and losing perspective of size and distance (“However, this was anything but a regular bee: in fact it was an elephant — as Alice soon found out, though the idea quite took her breath away at first.”) – at once captured by dizzying repetition, disjointed pulses, extremity of register, and distorted timbres.  Each instrument takes on disparate rhythmic identities that are absorbed as parts of collective outbursts which warp and skew out in dynamic ways.