Smoky Mountain Lullaby was commissioned by Lisa Perry with support from the East Tennessee State University Research Development Committee.
I was commissioned by Lisa Perry to write a piece inspired by Appalachian folk music, and little did I know that shortly after receiving that request, I would end up moving to the Appalachian region myself. As I explored the many facets of Appalachian musical styles, I was struck by the directness of melancholy and purity of harmony in the slow lyrical songs, as well as the genuine joy and technicality exhibited by upbeat examples of the Bluegrass style, especially in the banjo playing.
The opening section is inspired by the plaintive mood and the gradually building texture of the Wailin' Jennys song Long Time Traveler. The music is strictly canonic, with the first clarinet spinning a long lyrical melody and each clarinet in turn echoing it verbatim to gradually create rich harmonies. The middle section is inspired by the Bluegrass style of banjo playing made famous by the likes of Earl Scruggs. As the ensemble lays down a banjo-like texture, the first clarinet riffs on the melody from the beginning. Finally, the closing section returns to the plaintive music of the opening but unwinds, drifting away to sleep as each clarinet drops out one by one until only one is left.
Duration: ca 11'
Instrumentation options so far:
Clarinet Choir - 7 B flat clarinets and 1 Bass Clarinet
Low Clarinet Choir - 7 Bass Clarinets and 1 Contrabass Clarinet
Listen to a recording by the UNCG Clarinet Choir, conducted by Joanna McCoskey Wiltshire. Members of the ensemble are Daniel Garcia, Andrew Paluszak, Julianna Pierdomenico, Joshua Bottoms, Nicholas Lorenzo, Lucas Gianini, Taylor Stirm, Abby Novak, and Lyndsey Dean:
Below is the perusal score for the clarinet choir version. You may download it in case the embedded score below is difficult to see or does not display.
Use the PayPal buttons below to purchase Smoky Mountain Lullaby. Select the instrumentation you would like to purchase. If you need a quote for a purchase order, please contact me.