This piece was written for flutist Kate Steinbeck and guitarist Amy Brucksch, to be featured as part of the tenth anniversary of the Keowee Chamber Music Festival in Asheville, North Carolina. The composer took letters from these performers' names
(that are also found in music notation) to generate the work's main material.
This material can be heard quite literally in the opening flute melody,
as well as in the accompanying guitar chords.
The piece is intended to evoke the simplicity and sound world of much
"mountain music," while also illuminating contrasting states of water:
a mountain lake and river torrents.
"Breathing the Water" is the title of a book of poetry by Denise Levertov,
who was associated with the Black Mountain Poetry School,
so named for its association with Black Mountain College (1933-1957) near Asheville.
The flute "whistle tone" can be produced by blowing very gently across the embouchure hole. Direct the air stream upward and push the bottom jaw forward very slightly to get the partials (overtones) to sound. If this technique is not comfortable for the performer, the pitches may be played very faintly as harmonics.