On the Rime of a Fading Forest, for flute, trombone, and electronics, was commissioned by musicians Shelley and Philip Martinson.
Forests are a part of our everyday life. They cover about thirty percent of our planet. The ecosystems they create play an essential role in supporting life on earth. They give us shelter, protect us as we grow, and clean the air we breathe. They give us water, food, and health. Deforestation, however, is clearing these essential habitats on a massive scale. At the current rate of destruction, the world’s rainforests will completely disappear within one hundred years. Without the forests, our planet cannot breath. Forest destruction will exacerbate global warming and climate change, and result in a loss of biodiversity.
Flute and trombone are two instruments that are infrequently played together as a duet because of the different ranges and distinguished timbre. In this piece, they represent the diversity of life in the world, especially the diversity found in the forests. The sounds of the instruments tangle together, in and out from phrases, to transfer the melody from one to another. They also overlap with the electronics. The electronic sounds mold the instruments and shift them between imagination and reality, like how a forest can be so real, but the sights, sounds, and smells can make your imagination run wild. Throughout the piece, the flute, trombone, and electronics become increasingly distorted until they collapse. Just like mankind’s activities affect nature when left unregulated, the earth will collapse in the future if we cannot control our development. If human beings still exist at that time, all we will have left are pictures of the forests.
I hope this piece will improve environmental awareness about deforestation, which is a global issue affecting every single person on the planet. Sustain forests. Sustain life.