Arboreous Incantations

Arboreous Incantations (2018) for three piccolos. This work was premiered by the commissioning ensemble Areon Flutes who will be recording the work with funding support by New Music USA.

Inspired by Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose’s (1858-1937) scientific work on plants as well as other research related to how trees communicate, this composition pays homage to the various ways the piccolo (made of ebony and other woods and metals) vibrates. The work calls for a number of unusual techniques such as extremely fast double tonguing using a fluttery embouchure technique, and the plugging of the tube’s end with the right pinky to expand the piccolo range downward so that alternative tones emerge. In this work, the players hum and whistle and intone texts by Bose.  The molecules of sounds knock about the inside of the tube, while a vacuum pressure technique is used to hold air in and then forced out by specific fingerings so that tiny, but spirited, bursts of sounds ricochet outward.  This work inspires creative, collaborative ensemble listening while exploring the colorings of this small tube in novel ways. The composer and the performers are excited to share the discoveries of these new sonic colorings on this small, but mighty, instrument that is magnified by three.

Click the thumbnail for 4 sample pages of Arboreous Inctantations.