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Kindred Vibrations: For Voice, Flute, and Piano
  • Kindred Vibrations: For Voice, Flute, and Piano


    Kindred Vibrations: on a journal entry of Henry D. Thoreau dated January 13, 1857, for Voice, Flute, and Piano


    January 13, 1857


    I soar or hover… over the field of my life. It is ever life within life, in concentric spheres.... What an elixir is this sound! I… live now under the heavens. It releases me; it bursts my bonds.... We hear the kindred vibrations, music! and we put out our dormant feelers unto the limits of the universe. We attain to a wisdom that passeth understanding. The stable continents undulate. The hard and fixed becomes fluid. When I hear music I fear no danger, I am invulnerable, I see no foe. 

    I am related to the earliest times and to the latest. 


    — Henry David Thoreau


    In Kindred Vibrations, I pay homage to Thoreau’s interest in the interplay of nature and sounds created by humans. The voice and flute echo, interweave, and dance with one another, while the piano creates a resonant soundscape within which their timbres intermingle and affect one another, creating new effects that will vary with each performance of the work. Nature affects the sounds of humankind as light through a kaleidoscope. 


    Thoreau’s love for the flute and his fondness for Charles Dibdin’s “Tom Bowling” make them apposite as integral parts of this work. 


    Structurally, the work is a large mirror form, so that the “earliest times” and “the latest” are indeed related. 





    Voice, Flute, and Piano








    Commissioned by the Lebanon Valley College Music Department 

    for the Inaugural Festival of Inclusive Excellence in Song. Dedicated to Ashley Ballou-Bonnema.


    Special thanks to flutist Norman Menzales for his assistance with the extended techniques used in the flute part.


    Cover illustration: snow drifts, from the same journal entry of January 13, 1857.


    Dedicated to Ashley Ballou-Bonnema

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