Coriander, Must, and Moonbeams

Title: Coriander, Must, and Moonbeams

Instruments: Flute, Clarinet, and Piano

Program Notes:

Coriander, Must, and Moonbeams are three tone poems that are linked by thematic (both musical and non-musical) motives. Non-musically, I was helping to tidy out an attic space and found an ancient jar of coriander, which sparked the idea for the three movements. Coriander is based on an old folk song about the traditional uses of the herb…it can be used to see the future, to keep secrets and provide protection, to promote peace and fertility, and as a key ingredient in a love potion. The clarinet and flute (and eventually piano) provide commentary on what’s happening in the story, mostly representing the townfolk surrounding the protagonist. Must is a slowly developing piece that grows from very simple to overwhelmingly dense. It is built out systematically from the piano part. Moonbeams represents a magical and mysterious atmosphere and also to take advantage of Katie Palumbo’s ability to play the piano and sing at the same time. The text, written in Latin (with an assist from Google Translate)(and with apologies to anyone who understands Latin grammar), basically tells of the effects that moonlight has on the character and leads up to a challenging vocal cadenza. The music has references to earlier movements and a little quotation of Pierrot Lunaire for context. All three are tied together musically by the music of the Coriander folk song.

Written for the Trillium Ensemble

First Performed: Summer, 2016: Trillium Ensemble (Moonbeams only)