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Cold Wind in a Fallow Field
Symphonic Orchestra, 5m30s

I took a walk along Michigan's Kal-Haven trail on one of those autumn days on which the sun is warm but the wind is bitter cold.  The bent-over stalks of wheat and corn glowed a bright and friendly beige but the wind was an icy reminder that the fields were dead for the year.

Click here to see more of my photographs from the trail.

I was intrigued by this contrast and set out to create something similar in music. That said, the piece is not programmatic - there is no 'field motive' pitched against a 'wind motive,' or anything like that. Instead, Cold Wind in a Fallow Field presents a sonic world rich with contrasts both subtle and severe, befitting the natural scene that inspired it, all within a sullen, contemplative mood suggestive of a tired autumn hike.


Three Flutes
Two Oboes
Two Clarinets in B-flat
Bass Clarinet in B-flat
Two Bassoons
Four Horns in F
Two Trumpets in C
Two Trombones
Bass Trombone

Timpani (Two or preferably three drums)
Marimba (four mallets, low-A)
Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Low Tom
Violins I and II