Winter Song, for solo flute and chamber winds, was recently premiered at Sam Houston State University with conductor Brian Gibbs and solo flutist Kathryn Daniel. The work is based on one of my favorite sonorities - the major 7th chord.
Throughout the piece, I use different voicings of the chord to create harmonies and textures that are sometimes stark, and other times beautiful, reflecting the varying landscapes of winter.
There is much stillness and starkness in the music throughout, but at times the music grows intense and dramatic, especially as the work leads to a climax in the middle of the piece. After this point, we hear the beginnings of a familiar bird call (the black capped Chickadee), perhaps a sign of spring. The quiet and stark music begins to grow warmer at the end, hinting at the gradual relenting of winter and the unfolding of spring.