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wild and ferocious plants


Composed in 2009

Duration: 5:00

Instrumentation: clarinet, vibraphone, violin, cello


Wild and Ferocious Plants was written for the Music09 festival in Blonay, Switzerland. In this piece, I conceived of the ensemble as a composite “super-instrument” rather than as four distinct voices. 

All four performers play in almost every measure, although the clarinetist has both slightly more time to rest and slightly more room for soloistic outbursts. The musical material is almost entirely derived from the opening gesture, which develops organically into florid runs and prickly syncopations.

The title came from a photo my friend Catherine Branch sent me while traveling in Ireland. The picture was taken at a botanical garden, and the caption read, “This picture is for Jordan. This greenhouse was full of wild and ferocious plants.” I immediately wrote back, “I’m touched. I’m also going to write a piece called ‘Wild and Ferocious Plants.’ ” I was, and I did.



First Performance: June 29th, 2009, Music09 Festival

Bartok Hall, Hindemith Foundation, Blonay, Switzerland

Michael Maccaferri, clarinet; Benjamin Fraley, vibraphone; 

Brenda van der Merwe, violin; Rachel Smith, cello


Related Works:


Hit the Spot


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