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)

Program note:

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.