BLUE SPRUCE (2015) - for percussion duet and fixed media
Premiere: November 21st, 2015, Rice University, Houston, TX at the Electric LaTex Festival by the Scuffed Shoe Duo (Brandon Bell and Craig Hauschildt)
Duration: ca. 8 min
Blue Spruce is inspired by an evocative dream where I was situated in my living room around Christmas time. We decorate our Christmas tree (usually, fittingly, a blue spruce) with old German Christmas ornaments, many of them painted birds ornamented with colorful feathers. In my dream, the birds came alive—they were already animated by multicolor light and shadow—and were angry at the fact that we had cut down and “stolen” the tree from the forest for our decorative pleasure. They dispersed around the room, darting to and from creating hard shadows and obscuring the rainbow light. Eventually they broke out, taking the tree with them and back into the echoes of a spruce forest. In Blue Spruce, I imagine the birds escaping the tree, navigating a bristly and bright environment interjected by light and sharp branches, supplemented by the percussion, which accentuates the glow and the bristle of the tree. The piece features samples of magpie birds, rocks, shuffling leaves, and clicking notebook sounds.