flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion

Moonlight on the Bluff, a different sort of title for me; but it’s more about (a very oblique) reference than romance. It’s a bit of a nod to Moonlight by Benjamin Britten—an ex-tremely (and maybe unexpectedly) psychedelic work. It might also bring to mind Moonlight on Vermont by Captain Beefheart, a composer whose ability to change minds is never unexpected. And maybe there’s even a suggestion of the standard, Moonlight in Vermont — I always think of Willie Nelson’s waking-dream of a version. My piece doesn’t sound much like any of the above, but it might be able to keep then company. “Bluff” is one of those multi-meaning words that often show up in my titles. Of course, it implies various kinds of deception; but it can also mean “good-naturedly frank and hearty,” “a steep promontory, bank, or cliff,” or, most significantly here, “a clump of trees on the prairie.”

Martin Arnold [ii-07]

Performance

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