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Microcosms for Alto Saxophone and Piano (2007) is an adaptation of a 1973 composition for saxophone alone called Micro Pieces. It is dedicated to Stacy Wilson. The main title reflects the brevity of the movements as well as the programmatic representation of small models of a larger concept.
I. Nebulae – This movement is a microcosm of the universe. Nebulae are clusters of dust and gas that reflect light and are the basic elements of the universe.
II. Puck – Puck’s early associations are with the devil, but Shakespeare made him more fairy-like. This movement is a microcosm of the devilish, trick-playing side of human nature.
III. Apiary – This movement represents the busyness of a beehive and is a microcosm of the hectic pace of 21st century life.
IV. Hiroshima – This movement represents the destruction of lives and property caused by the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It is a microcosm of the kind of inhumanity that our species is capable of inflicting upon one another.
V. Charlie Chaplin – Another side of human nature is our need to laugh. Charlie Chaplin is a microcosm of both the witty side and slapstick side of humor.
VI. Tempest – This movement is a microcosm of the fickleness of Mother Nature that unleashes its power of destruction and leaves as quickly as it comes.
VII. Four A.M. – Imagine someone wandering alone in the streets of a big city at this time of the morning. This scene is a microcosm of the part of human nature that often feels isolated.
VIII. March of the Ants – This march is both serious and whimsical at the same time. The whimsical is represented by one imagining ants marching to this music. The seriousness is the industrious and tenacity of ants that is a microcosm of this side of human nature.
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