The Aquatics Guide to Swimming (2015)

Flute, Bb Clarinet (dbl. Bb Bass Clr.), Percussion, Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello

Duration: 7 minutes | Composed: 2015 (Sentieri Selvaggi, Milan Italy) | Recording: Performance by Sentieri Selvaggi (as part of the Milan Expo 2015).

This piece is, in very roundabout way, based on the short story “The Aquatic Uncle” from Calvino’s Cosmicomics. When mulling over the theme of the Expo Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, I began thinking most about the life of the planet both in terms of its evolution and of its incredible body of water. In my mind water is the first thing that both feeds the planet and gives way to life. Form there I remembered the Calvino short stories and wanted to link the Italian author to this piece written for an Italian premiere. While the piece runs from beginning to end without pause it is divided up into four sections, each with the following titles:

I - Quixotic – hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical; Capricious.
II - Phosphatic - of a salt or ester of a phosphoric acid. An organic compound that within itself permits useful energy to be released. A slat compound that has phosphorus in it and that is used especially in products that help plants grow.
III - Epigrammatic – of the nature or in the style of n epigram; a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement.
IV - Oceanic – of or relating to the ocean. These terms reflect the narrative of the piece, with all things leading to the ocean. They also are linked to the playfulness and underlying evolutionary progress of the Calvino story.


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