Commissioned by Illuminati.
First performance: 08 Jun 2009
Category: chamber quartet woodwind
Instrumentation: Fl Ob B-Cl Bsn
For Melanie and Hadley
Snowbirds is a word I came across while at a Cochlear Implant conference in Tampa, Florida, in March 2009. I had never heard this commonplace term to describe people who migrate away from (and obviously towards, depending on your interests) wintry weather each year. Florida is obviously prime territory for those fortunate to be able to do this, in a country so large that various different climates exist at any time of year.
My cousins are snowbirds. They are originally from Chicago (famed for its cold winters), but currently live on Maui, a Hawaiian island.
For clear reasons, I rarely see them, but am often drawn to memories of good times spent together in periods of less adult responsibility. This piece draws on nostalgic, half-remembered fragments of nights out, grouping the quartet in pairs, as pieces of musical material dance around one another.