Instrumentation: 2 flutes, alto sax, bass tbn., 2 perc, marimba, soprano, baritone, bass
Duration: 11 minutes
Audio Excerpt: (2nd movement)
California State University Contemporary Ensemble
Feuillage is a triptych for mixed chamber ensemble that takes inspiration from nature. Written for the California State University Faculty of Music in Sacramento, the work is in three movements, with the second movement based on a snippet from Walt Whitman’s “Proud Music of the Storm” scored for soprano, baritone, and ensemble.
Movement 1: Tapestry
Revolving around a melodic fragment that starts in the marimba, melodic lines converge into dense polyphony, mirroring and evoking the growth of trees in a dense forest. This movement is purely instrumental.
Movement 2: From Life to Death
As per the requirement to use the text “Proud Music of the Storm” by Walt Whitman, I chose two sections of text that reflected the theme of nature for this piece. As the soprano and baritone describe the sounds of nature (“the rain, the growing corn…”) using Whitman’s text, the instruments paint a picture of what is happening. The movement ends with the poignant line, “which let us go forth in the bold day and write”, ending the section with an unresolved cadence.
Movement 3: Festive Finale
The last movement is a frantic and energetic conclusion to the earlier movements that feature the Tom-toms, Bongos, and the Wood Block. This movement is purely instrumental.
– December 11th, 2014, Performers from the California State University Faculty of Music, Sacramento.