Premiere: Cassandra Hibbard, clarinet. Michigan State University, 2011.
Instrumentation: solo Bb clarinet
Program Notes: Water:Dance was written for Dr. Cassandra Hibbard. When she asked me to write the piece, she told me that she wanted something that didn’t sound like an etude or an exercise in extended techniques. Right up my alley. Over the course of some conversations, she brought up a couple paintings in the Music Auditorium at Michigan State. They’re giant and very abstract. At some point someone (maybe her) called one Water and the other Dance; you can see both if you’re a bit creative in your interpretation. An interesting idea, juxtaposing these two characters together into one piece.
The characters are introduced separately and gradually merge as the piece progresses. For me, water represented a peaceful, gurgling brook. Dance is two things: a child exhilarating in the joy and freedom of movement as a young dancer and a grown woman reflecting on her memory of that freedom. I tried to capture these ideas in each character. By the end, Water and Dance are intertwined so that they become one character, that exhilaration as a sweet memory.
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Recording performed by Cassandra Hibbard.