The horn trio is such a wonderful and challenging combination, in that each of the instruments has a unique musical personality and technical approach to articulation, sustain, dynamics, and movement from one pitch to the next. This work, then, is constantly pulled in different directions: at one point thorny and disjunct, while at another warm and flowing—as one instrument’s basic nature interacts with and influences another’s. The rapid movement from one sound world to the other suggested to me the rippled vitality of water in a shallow stream versus the gentle meandering of a deep river, and how the course of a water body can move rather suddenly from one to another, depending on the terrain.
The work might also represent an accumulation of thoughts and events wherein friendships deepen and change over time. Since this work was commissioned by the incredible hornist Gail Williams, in writing the piece I wanted to honor our friendship in some way. (This is the fourth work I’ve composed for Ms. Williams.)
First performance by the Chicago Chamber Musicians, November, 2007.