When Ellen Highstein, Director of the Tanglewood Music Center, asked me to write a piece to be premiered during their festival of my music at Tanglewood in the summer of 2008, I thought it would be interesting to write a piece for strings that depended only density of textures with no linear material, no change of color or dynamics, with this in mind, I wrote Sound Fields. When my friend, the composer/conductor Oliver Knussen heard this first performance at Tanglewood, where he was conducting many of my pieces that summer, he suggested that I write a companion piece for winds.This led to Wind Rose, which adds changes of color.
The piece is dedicated to Oliver Knussen. I started writing it on July 28, 2008 and finished it on August 8, 2008.
“The complex, wriggling, quixotic Carter we know was replaced by a Carter testing his mettle by writing only slow chords and single notes, moving and merging like clouds. The wind colour range was especially remarkable, spiked by the phalanx of eight clarinets (of four different species).”
The Times (UK)