Robinson McClellan ~ composer


I. Lester the Earwig
II. Hurricane the Cat
III. Erin the Girl

for Flute, Bassoon, Viola, and Piano (doubling woodblock)
Duration: ca. 10:00

Premiered February 2, 2005 at Sprague Hall, Yale University. Kelli Kathman, flute; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Jacob Adams, viola; Clara Yang, piano and woodblock

I. Lester the Earwig (4:48)

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II. Hurricane the Cat (1:25)

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III. Erin the Girl (3:32)

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Program Note

This piece was written as a gift for my partner Erin.  Each movement is a character sketch: the first two are imaginary characters she invented to represent aspects of her personality; the third movement sketches Erin herself. 

This series of sketches provided me with a chance to explore different ways of approaching the idea of depicting a personality in music.  The first movement, Lester the Earwig, is narrative.  Each musical element illustrates an event in the humdrum, workaday life of Lester, who is represented by the bassoon: the alarm wakes him up, he walks to work, he stamps papers at his desk, annoying coworkers interrupt him, the seconds tick by.  Though these images guided my composing, it is not necessary for the listener to know what event corresponds to what musical element; the overall impression should give a good sense of what Lester is like. 

The second sketch, Hurricane the Cat, does not depict any specific events, but instead distills the essence of Hurricane's personality directly through the feeling of the music: he is the kind of person who likes to jump all over the place in explosions of energy and over-excitement, and to race around the room in circles as fast as possible. 

In the final movement, Erin the Girl, I treat the concept of a character piece in an even more general way: a simple song for viola and piano evokes a certain wistful mood she sometimes gets into.


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