I’ve been working on a septet (horn, strings piano) for the Seattle Chamber Music Society.  In November I was contacted by composer Jeremy Jolley asking if I had any models for the instrumentation of my piece that he could share with the commissioning club at their first salon, in which he was going to initiate discussion of my work.

First of all, how lovely to be asked such a question by interested parties.  It’s always wonderful to encounter people who want to delve into a brand new composition to this degree.

Unfortunately, though, while there may be other septets for horn, piano and strings out there already, I don’t know any, so I wasn’t using any models in creating mine.  So how best to express appreciation for a question that one can’t answer?  My response was to dash off the following haiku:

Jeremy Jolley
has asked what models I used
to write my septet.

My septet is called 

Sanctuary
.  It does not
have antecedents.

Rather, I believed
the right sound would come from my
imagination.

I could be wrong, though.
This piece may turn out to be
some kind of fresh Hell.

If that is the case
I owe everyone involved
an apology.

But actually
I think that Sanctuary
may turn out just fine.

In which case I will
happily offer you all
sincere gratitude.

How did Mr. Jolley and the commissioning club feel about my non-answer?  Not sure, because I had no response.  Perhaps when I arrive for the third salon in May I will be greeted with spitballs, or even tomatoes.  Probably no less than I deserve.

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