Nature and music just seem the perfect pair. Music is part of nature; birds singing, drums created and played by people from cultures around the world; ancient flutes across the globe made from a bird’s bone, an animal’s horn, wood, ivory, bamboo, ceramic, crystal, and later, silver, gold, platinum and other metals. The sound of these flutes played outside is uniquely beautiful.
I love forests and all kinds of trees, especially evergreens which are majestic. Coniferous plants reproduce by forming seeds inside of pine cones which are spread through the air by wind and animals- nature.
The opening English horn melody was playing through my head when I first began thinking about the director’s idea (director of Englewinds, Sarah Davol) of writing a piece that connected to water, natural habitat and nature. In my mind’s eye I envisioned a beautiful, serene wintry forest with a blanket of snow on the ground. Simultaneously I saw snow melting in slow motion off pine cones, with icy water running gently in ring-like patterns, all the way around and around again, on the outside of the cones as they hung on the evergreens. Eventually, still in slow motion, the sound of the water dripping onto the snow came to be represented by the bass flute 'dripping’ low D's. Each melting droplet that lands on the snow is characterized by a tongue thrust aimed directly into the flute embouchure.
The lighting in the forest, the time of day, indirect sunlight, cloudy atmosphere, fresh air and cold climate can be felt through all of the instruments’ sonorities- alto flute, bass flute, piccolo and English horn.