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Skippers on Azurea

I've long been a lover of nature, so it should come as no surprise that the moment I acquired a patch of ground to call my own, I set to work converting half of it to native wildflower beds.  The subsequent shift from sterile lawn to a space that literally buzzes with life was immediate and astounding.  I am blessed to be able to spend my time surrounded not only by floral beauty, but by the insects, bees, butterflies, and birds that such plants attract.  It is humbling to witness the interconnectedness of these organisms; without the plants, the other creatures would disappear.  Skippers on Azurea is a comment on this interconnectedness.  The title refers to skippers, a family of small, skittery butterflies, and azurea (referring to Salvia azurea or blue sage) is a blue wildflower that is particularly attractive to skippers. The piece is in three movements and tracks a typical day in the relationship between these two organisms.  “Morning” is languid and slow.  The first glimmers of sunlight trickle across the horizon long before the butterflies emerge.  As the air warms, butterflies take flight and begin their skittery dance, heard at the end of the movement.  “Midday” bursts with fluttery activity and playful, dance-like gestures.  Filled with jaunty melodies, it reflects the seemingly carefree movements of skippers as they gather nectar from the blue sage.  “Dusk” begins with a lone call from the English horn, and is slowly joined by the oboe and oboe d'amore in a delicate, sensitive air with tightly woven harmonies, reflective of the gradual descent back into the quiet night.

Duration: 10 min.

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