Selections from Nine Lives

Nine Lives (2014)

for flute/alto flute/piccolo, oboe/English horn, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin & cello
Commissioned by Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival with Inscape Chamber Orchestra
17 minutes

Mika Small
Pikes Falls Chamber Music Festival
Richard Scerbo, conductor; Susanna Loewy, flute/alto flute/piccolo; Bethany Slater, oboe/english horn; Evan Solomon, clarinet/bass clarinet, Sarah D'Angelo, violin; Julia Biber, cello
August 1, 2014, Jamaica, VT

Nine Lives
1. Silver Streams
2. Footfall
3. Edge
4. In Amber Light
5. Slip
6. Unearthed
7. Walk After Dark
8. Alice Blue
9. Leap


Nine Lives, as the title suggests, is inspired by the antics of my cat, Mika. While the piece reveals her exuberance, playful kitten energy, clumsiness, and tiny ferocity, it also captures her fragility, moments of quiet, and an extended period of sickness, which has luckily passed. In a larger sense, the composition explores the many lives we lead, as individuals shaped by a myriad of experiences and memories. It touches on the people who come and go in our lives, leaving lasting imprints. Finally, as a composer, I hope that my material will take on its own musical life, each melody and motif transforming into new and illuminating incarnations as the performers create their own personal interpretations.