12 May drift, drop
fl, cl, ob, bsn, tpt, trb, 2 perc, pno, vc + db [16′] 2006.
Commissioner: New Music Concerts
Funder: Ontario Arts Council
Premiere: New Music Concerts with soloists Robert Aitken (flutes) and James Avery (piano)
drift, drop grew out of the folksong Down by Sally’s Garden as sung by Leo Spenser in Lakefield, Ontario in 1957. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Lakefield, and I certainly wasn’t there in 1957, but I have a small distintegrating volume of Canadian folksongs on the top of my piano. A lot of rambling and roving takes place in this song, and I kept finding myself singing it as I rode my bike through Toronto’s laneways. This song, which long ago drifted over from Ireland, guided me through the labyrinth of composing.
Drift — to float along, to deviate; something driven.
Drop — to fall, to collapse; a precipitous shift.