• Premiere: 24 January 2011 / Duquesne University / Lindsey Goodman, flute & voice & Robert Frankenberry, piano & voice
  • Instrumentation: open
  • Duration: open


A directed improvisation for solo instrumentalist, solo vocalist, or ensemble of any size and instrumentation, Chrysalis is a series of meditations on the idea of fundamental change.  Commissioned by the unique duo Lindsey Goodman­ (mezzo & flutist) and Robert Frankenberry (tenor & pianist), I was fascinated most by two specific things as I contemplated writing a new work for these multi-talented artists: their range of timbral possibility and the practical concerns associated with negotiating the transition from instrument to voice and back.  As the piece evolved, I allowed it to become more open to those possibilities and less constrained by the practicalities, resulting in a work that is primarily performer-driven. 

Each of the five movements—which may be performed as a whole, individually, or in subsets—is associated with at least one specifically notated musical gesture, and often with several.  The performer is called upon to internalize these musical starting-points, and then to allow each to evolve into the next through their own improvisational process.  The result is a hybrid piece— one that reaches towards total freedom while remaining tethered to the notated Western musical tradition.  The work is dedicated to my dear and honored friend Célia Cooke, during her time of transformation; the dedication reads “for Célia, as she transforms into light.”            —Gilda Lyons


I. Transformation into a pool of water

II. Becoming ice

III. Summoning fire

IV. Levitation

V. Transformation into an orb of light



To purchase Chrysalis on iTunes, performed by Lindsey Goodman & Robert Frankenberry on the New Dynamic Records release reach through the sky, click here.