Mother Time, Father Nature
Bassoon and piano
Mother Time, Father Nature (2021) was commissioned by Joseph Swift, bassoonist, and eight consortium members as part of the Room to Breathe commissioning project which reflects on the confluence of crises in 2020 and 2021 and humankind's perseverance through them. This work was inspired by a sentence I found in my journal from June 2020: "I feel like I'm mourning the loss of a season that hasn't happened yet." I found that I no longer experienced the passage of time in the same way that I had pre-pandemic; everything moved so slowly and yet also so quickly around me. Societally, we think of Father Time as steady, rigid, ticking on reliably, while Mother Nature is supposedly caring, nurturing, and abundant. Although the gender binary is a myth, intentionally re-gendering time and nature helped me discover two figures whose cosmic work actually resonated with my new relationship to my surroundings. Mother Time is shifting, flexible, and gentle—an ever-changing season of learning and growth. Father Nature is relentless flowering, a continual force that progresses with or without humans out and about. Mother Time, Father Nature translates these personas to music, exploring proportions and development as the two might, but in the form of meter, rhythm, register, and paraphrasing. Many thanks to Joseph Swift, Aislinn Bailie, Conor Bell, Mathieu Harel, Vincent LaMonica, Natalie Law, Frank Morelli, Leigh Muñoz, and Ben Roidl-Ward for their support of new music for the bassoon. May this work and Room to Breathe bring you hope, joy, perspective, and peace.
Commissioned by a consortium of bassoonists: Joseph Swift (consortium director), Aislinn Bailie, Conor Bell, Mathieu Harel, Vincent LaMonica, Natalie Law, Frank Morelli, Leigh Muñoz, and Ben Roidl-Ward