Among Fireflies (2010) for alto flute and live, interactive electroacoustics takes its inspiration from a haiku by poet Wally Swist, who generously granted permission to use it for the piece.
Dense with fireflies
The field flickers
Through the fog
Swist’s imagery inspired me to consider texture and perspective, which became two focal aspects of the piece. The piece’s opening gestures place the performer in a field surrounded by a multitude of fireflies – perhaps the performer is a person, or perhaps the performer is a firefly him/herself. The piece’s progression slowly separates the performer (and listeners) from the masses of fireflies, the increasing distance changing our perspective on their activity and brilliance. By the piece’s end, we view the fireflies through the fog from a great distance, where only the smallest, blurred flickers persist, but the memory of their presence remains. Among Fireflies was commissioned by the Lipa Festival of Contemporary Music at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.