Jubilee was written in 2005 for Carlyn Lloyd & Jon Warfel to commemorate their 20th anniversary of playing together as a duo. When Carlyn approached me during the 2004 National Flute Convention in Nashville, she enthusiastically asked me to write a piece for them, which I gladly did.
This piece is in three movements. It was obvious that I was going to write something that would have joy and a feeling of celebration for the anniversary. Thus came the first movement, Jubilate. This movement has three main sections. First, there is an introduction where a theme is presented. This theme is simple by nature but it will be the main source of building blocks for the piece. It is presented three times, each time becoming fuller with flashing arpeggiating gestures. The second section transforms the theme into a quasi salsa rhythm when the piano takes off in an improvisatory manner, the flute later joining in. The texture becomes thicker little by little, until there is a sharp change in the third section where repeated 16th patterns take over. These patterns will be used as the background when once again the main theme will be presented under this new texture by the flute. The movement slows downs to a peaceful ending.
For the second movement, I wanted to include something a bit more personal for the performers. One of the images that stayed in my mind was when Carlyn described to me her memories of going down to the basement when she was a child to see her dad work building clocks. She had vivid memories of walking barefoot in sawdust, smelling the wood shavings and of course, hearing the clocks. I just couldn’t resist writing about all this. Wooden Bird starts with a clock-like steadiness, even though the pulse is actually slower than the regular pulse of a clock. This movement is in a somewhat A-B-A form, although the “B” section contains three sections in itself. I must confess that I included a musical quote from my song, Clepsydra, which was the precursor for my multimedia opera of the same name. This Clepsydra theme has made several appearances in other pieces of mine, as a reference to time (and/or how we are timeless beings.) I also used some cuckoo sounds, mocking the chiming clocks.
The last movement, Syzygy, which means moving together for a common goal, brings back the main theme. There is a little reprise of the second movement which leads into the most festive part of the piece, a clear salsa rhythm in the piano while the flute embellishes the main theme. Lastly, a little coda reprises the original main theme, closing the piece with a flourish.
Instrumentation: Flute and piano duo.
Duration: ca. 9:00