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Exocoetidae (2018)

Mixed Octet

fl, cl|perc|hrp|pno|vl, vla, vc

Written for Ensemble Dal Niente, Michael Lewanski, Music Director

Duration: 6:30


Performed live by Michael Lewanski and Ensemble Dal Niente

Slosberg Recital Hall – Brandeis University, Waltham (MA), February 18, 2018


Program Note

Though Exocoetidae is the scientific name for a flying fish, this piece is not designed to evoke an impressionistic musical scene. Instead, it is inspired by the flying fish’s unique ability to glide over the ocean for hundreds of feet, reaching altitudes up to twenty feet above the surface, thus giving the fish a special understanding of two elements: water and air. This is the idea that spawned Exocoetidae. Blackburn explores these natural elements with two simple structures: scales and arpeggios. Throughout the piece, the music constantly moves between these techniques, both on a small scale (within a single motif) and large-scale (foreground textures), allowing the music to exist in both elements, as the extraordinary flying fish does.

Luke Blackburn (February, 2018)


Premiere setup with Michael Lewanski and Ensemble Dal Niente (Feb. 2018), in Slosberg Recital Hall, Brandeis University. Photo by Luke Blackburn.


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