giraffes

Giraffes

for flute and piano (2004)
– or –
for flute and marimba (2008)

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Score Information

Audio
Duration
7 min.
Premiere
Version for flute and piano
First Performances:
August 12-15, 2004
National Flute Association Annual Convention
Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Semi-finalists of the Young Artists Competition

First Public Performance:
April 22, 2008
April Clayton, flute
Jihae Hong-Park, piano
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York City
April Clayton, flute

Version for flute and marimba
First Performance:
July 4, 2008
Yellow Barn Music Festival
Putney, Vermont
Conor Nelson, flute; Ayano Kataoka, marimba

Commissioner
National Flute Association
Notes
I love Billy Pilgrim’s dream of giraffes in a garden, from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five:

“The giraffes were following gravel paths, were pausing to munch sugar pears from treetops. Billy was a giraffe, too. He ate a pear. It was a hard one. It fought back against his grinding teeth. It snapped in juicy protest.

“The giraffes accepted Billy as one of their own, as a harmless creature as preposterously specialized as themselves. Two approached him from opposite sides, leaned against him. They had long, muscular upper lips which they could shape like the bells of bugles. They kissed him with these. They were female giraffes — cream and lemon yellow. They had horns like doorknobs. The knobs were covered with velvet.”

Giraffes was commissioned by the National Flute Association to be the required work for its 2004 Young Artists Competition.

Performance History
  • August 12, 2004: Six semi-finalists of the National Flute Association’s Young Artists Competition, Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
  • April 22, 2008: April Clayton, flute; Jihae Hong-Park, piano; Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York City
  • July 4, 2008: Conor Nelson, flute and Ayano Kataoka, marimba, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Putney, Vermont
  • October 15, 2011: Conor Nelson, flute, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Bowling Green State University, Ohio