A symbolic programmatic piece. Each instrument is in a different key a fifth apart. The english horn is the melancholy loner in the group. At first everything seems pleasant and conversational until the boorish drums show up which causes much apprehension and commotion. The strings start dreaming (harmonics are the dreams of the strings). In the dream state the english horn in tentatively searching. The violin's spirit rises up and has a flirtatious episode with the english horn. They play a sweet melodic fragment together (based on the plaintive downturned theme heard earlier). Soon afterwards, the violin returns to the fold and the english horn is again lost. The horn makes a pact with the drums. The strings awake and play together - a unified family. Suddenly the drums and english horn break in and the horn tries to force the violin to repeat the sweet theme they played "in the dream." The violin stubbornly refuses. This leads to much dissension. The final note, an A, is skirted around in quarter tones - not actually played in unison. The A was the note played in unison by the horn and violin "in the dream." It's therefore an ambiguous resolution.
Performed by Nik Phelps (english horn), Carla kihlstedt (violin), Marika Hughes (cello), Andrew Higgins (bass), Fred Morgan (drums)
(for violin, cello, english horn and drum kit) © 1999, Steve Mobia