two voices and cello


  • Premiere: 27 April 2007 / The Phoenix Concerts, New York / Gilda Lyons & Elaine Valby, voice; Robert LaRue, cello

  • Instrumentation: two voices and cello

  • Duration: 12'

I. Cicada

II. Tortuga's Lament

III. Bone Needles 



A set of three movements without words for voices and cello, Cáscaras (husks) is a series of musical snapshots written after my return from a recent visit to Nicaragua.

"Cicada" re-imagines the chatter of beetles roosting in the thick of trees near my parents' home in Rio Mar. "Tortuga's Lament" paints a plaintive portrait of the sea-turtles there. "Bone Needles"—which began as a work for two voices commissioned by Amy Pivar Dances in spring 2006—explores the ways that three lines might mend together; markings within the score (“summoning”, “weaving” and “casting off”) guide an exchange that I imagined after watching a group of women repairing nets on the beaches of Casares with long needles made from fish bones. —Gilda Lyons

Cáscaras was completed on April 5, 2007 for premiere on Friday, April 27, 2007 by Robert La Rue, Elaine Valby, and the composer on The Phoenix Concerts, New York City.