When my friends Trio Volans, whose members (pianist Xak Bjerken, violinist Stephen Miakhy and clarinetist Rick Faria) have premiered and performed my work on many occasions, approached me in late 2007 about a writing piece on short notice, I happily moved other projects around to oblige. Writing for those one knows and trusts, musically and otherwise, is a true joy, and knowing the sounds of a particular player often leads the way to envisioning the course the piece for them will take. This piece was, however, unusually difficult for me to write, and I felt several times that I was composing for the first time. My creative wheels, although properly greased, still locked up. Consequently, this relatively short work—around 7 minutes—takes some twists and turns that, for me, were surprising. Any musical depiction involving birds makes a reference to the music of the French master Olivier Messiaen hard to avoid, so I didn’t try to avoid it. But while birdsong (Messiaen’s area of fascination) might be an obvious point of departure, I found myself meditating more on the idea of the flock. Any music that came about via these thoughts was purely coincidental: any connection to be found would be at a subconscious level.
— Sean Shepherd
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