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THE IMPEDED STREAM IS THE ONE THAT SINGS

Date: 2017
Duration: 10 minutes
Instrumentation: flute, cello, piano
Premiere: October 28, 2017. Leviathan Trio. West Virginia State University (Institute, WV).

Audio (select movements): YouTube



The Impeded Stream is the one that Sings for flute, cello and piano is a collection of seven short pieces, each of which is based on a phrase or passage of poetry or prose. Thus, these seven movements should be thought of more as a collection of musical poems, which can be played in any order, rather than concatenated movements creating an organic whole. As the title demonstrates, most of the poetic phrases on which these short pieces are based reflect upon nature in ways that are either explicitly musical ("I owned a slope full of stones. / Like buried pianos they lay in the ground") or that invite imaginative musical portrayal ("I saw a tree inside a tree / rise kaleidoscopically"). Poets and writers represented in the set include Wendell Berry, W.H. Auden, Kathleen Norris, and Christian Wiman. The Impeded Stream is written for the Leviathan Trio.

I. in vacant crowds and humming silences
II. buried pianos
III. the pendulum sun swung
IV. i saw a tree inside a tree rise kaleidoscopically
V. the flow of land is like the flow of Gregorian chant
VI. the robin–anthem
VII. the impeded stream

Performances

— Summer 2018: Leviathan Trio, China Tour.
— October 29, 2017: Leviathan Trio, Marshall University (Huntington, WV)
— October 28, 2017: Leviathan Trio, West Virginia State University (Institute, WV)