3,000 Miles



Program Note:

3,000 Miles takes its name from the distance monarch butterflies travel each fall to their overwintering ground “high up on just a few mountains in central Mexico.” Typically monarch butterflies live only 5-7weeks, and the trip back to North America requires 4-5 generations of butterflies to complete. But during the trip down to Mexico, individual butterflies can live up to 8 months. Taking its inspiration from the multiple generations required to complete a roundtrip, my piece is in multiple movements. The movements take their titles from stories and poems about butterflies:  

“‘Just living is not enough,’ said the butterfly, ‘one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.’” — Hans Christian Anderson “The Butterfly”  

The butterfly, the cabbage white, / (His honest idiocy of flight) / Will never now, it is too late, / Master the art of flying straight.” — Robert Graves, “Flying Crooked”  

“And now from having ridden out desire /They lie closed over in the wind and cling / Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.— Robert Frost, “Blue-Butterfly Day”  

“Since first I saw thee flance, / With all the dazzling other ones, / In airy dalliance, / Precipitate in love, / Tossed, tangled, whirled and tottered, / Like a limp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.” — Robert Frost, “My Butterfly”

Year Composed: 2020
Instrumentation: Flute and Harp
Duration: 13 minutes
Premiere: 6 May, 2022, at the EcoMusic Premiere, Series 1—Insects by Sarah Brady, flute and Ina Zdorovetchi, harp
Performance History: complete performance list
Perusal Score:
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Additional information

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Hard Copy Score + Parts, PDF Score + Parts