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These Inflected Tentacles

for marimba, piano, violin, and cello

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I. “The tentacles were as usual rendered of a very bright red, with the glands almost white like porcelain, yet tinged with pink.”
II. “when the glands of the disc have bits of meat given them, they transmit a motor impulse to the exterior tentacles”
III. “Falling drops of water do not cause inflection.”
IV. “a live insect is more efficient than a dead one”

In 1875 Charles Darwin published his book Insectivorous Plants, in which he documents the discovery, dissection, and subjection of various meat-eating flora to 19th-century experimentation ranging from the curious to the cruel and unusual. The book documents a lifetime of indefatigable dedication to the Scientific Method, but one cannot help smile at the man’s poking and prodding, dipping and burning. In four short movements, the quartet quotes Darwin recording his observations as he gleefully drops bits of meat, eggs, glass, hair, and anything else he can think of on his plants. Just to see what happens.

These Inflected Tentacles was commissioned by The Avian Orchestra for their 2011 program on botany, Vegetative States.

Genres:   Chamber

Subgenres:   Mixed Ensemble

Commissioned by

The Avian Orchestra – Peter Flint, Artistic Director

Recent Performances

  • November 9, 2012 - Great Noise Ensemble at Ward Hall, Catholic University of America. Conducted by David Vickerman.
  • October 19, 2012 - Great Noise Ensemble at Lang Theater of the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington D.C.. Conducted by David Vickerman. World Premiere of complete work
  • October 17, 2012 - Foot in the Door at Alfred C. Fuller Music Center F Millard Aud., The Hartt Schooll, Hartford CT. Preview Performance