duration: 4min  30sec
instrumentation: soprano (wordless), clarinet, 2 violins, cello and piano
premiere: Chamber Music Society of Minnesota: Maria Jette, soprano; Gabriel Campos Zamora, clarinet; Ariana Kim, violin; Young-Nam Kim, violin; Anthony Ross, cello; Timothy Lovelace, piano; at Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University, Saint Paull on 12/03/2017
commissioned: Linda and Jack Hoeschler


(composer’s statement)

Collage-like in structure, earthbird is an exuberant and celebratory piece, with the title being a riff on Stravinsky’s The Firebird. The piece is in four sections: it opens with a percussive passage based on an 11-note intra-scale, which is followed by a bright and lyrical section in 6/8. A 1960s-inspired pop progression and texture is next with the piece’s penultimate section being an honorific homage and paean to peace and the beauty of birds. The outro is drifting and bell-like, influenced by the images of birds in the architecture of its line. Throughout the entire piece the soprano (wordless) acts very bird-like: airy, floating, light-filled and lyrical.

“In an affectionate genuflection to Stravinsky, ‘earthbird’ bristled with verve and spikiness, and incorporated Jette’s ripely lyrical vocal interjections, soaring wordlessly over the instrumental textures.” – Terry Blain, Star Tribune, December 4, 2017

first performance

  • Maria Jette, soprano
  • Gabriel Campos Zamora, clarinet
  • Ariana Kim, violin
  • Young-Nam Kim, violin
  • Anthony Ross, cello
  • Timothy Lovelace, piano


Sundin Music Hall
Hamline University
Saint Paul, MN
December 3, 2017