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Biota

tenor saxophone and stereo fixed media

duration 10’45”


Shortly after embarking on the composition of Biota, I read about the great diversity of life thriving in forest canopies throughout the world.  In such environments, a single tree may house an unimaginable number of species – from birds, mammals, and insects to countless microorganisms – that each play a vital a role in maintaining the delicate balance that allows life flourish.  I continue to be fascinated by these unseen ecosystems, and am aware that they represent a microcosm for all life on earth.  


When composing this work, I pictured a massive tree in an ancient forest.  The music depicts a journey up, down, and through the tree, exploring life in its deepest roots to its uppermost leaf.  At times I envisioned focusing in on an incredibly small single-cell creature, while in other moments I imagined sweeping out to reveal the entire organism teaming with life.  Biota is a celebration of life, with all of its diversity and mystery.  It is also a reminder that we are merely one small component of a much greater system, but have the potential to play a large role in sustaining its balance and allowing it to flourish.   Biota was composed for saxophonist J. Michael Holmes in 2010.

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Listen (J. Michael Holmes, tenor saxophone, live recording)

                     

    

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