Pillars is a four-movement suite inspired by the book “Hope for the Flowers.” Scored for alto saxophone and multi-percussion, the work will be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences, including children’s concerts and student/professional recitals.
Pillars is inspired by the book Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. This is the story of Stripe and Yellow, two caterpillars whose actions represent the need to change and grow to become who they were created to be. The composition consists of four movements, representing four of main themes of the book. Pillars was commissioned by the LYNX Duo.
Stripe, the caterpillar, is born. His existence is very tranquil, but a bit dull. He lives to crawl and eat. He begins to think “There must be more to life.” He crawls down from his tree and explores a bit. He meets other caterpillars, but their life is the same as his. The mood of the music here is quite tranquil but uneasy.
Stripe follows some other caterpillars to the “Caterpillar Pillar” (from which this composition takes its title), a squirming mass of caterpillars climbing into the clouds. The mood here is somewhat tense (almost violent) to represent the pushing and shoving of the climb as all of the other climbers become threats or obstacles. Stripe and Yellow meet and decide the climb is not worth the anguish. This is represented by the saxophone and percussion ﬁnally “meeting” in the ﬁnal measures of the movement.
Stripe decides he cannot go on without knowing what is at the top of the pillar, and leaves Yellow for his attempt. Yellow knows that she also feels unfulﬁlled, but decides to transform into the (to her) unknown form of a butterﬂy. The movement is notable for the use of whole tone scales to signify the transformation.
This movement represents the joyous ﬂight of the new butterﬂy (Yellow). This movement also contains a somber element (the “hope” theme in the marimba), representing the pleading by Yellow for Stripe to be brave enough to change to a butterﬂy. The movement ends in a joyous manner, and is marked by alternation of the ﬂying theme with the hope theme. The phrasing is somewhat uneven, implying an unpredictable ﬂight that is affected by the wind.
• The resonant metals are left to the discretion of the performers.
• If the motor is used on vibraphone (optional), the speed should be set to medium slow.