Butterflies are remarkably light and quiet insects. During my research for this piece, whose title was suggested by the work’s commissioners, Don and Lee Ann Lefevre, I made contact with Mirian M. Hay-Roe, Ph.D a volunteer with the USDA in insect behavior and biocontrol research. She led me to her research recordings of butterflies that was cited in her paper “Wing-Click Sounds of Heliconius cydno alithea (Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae) Butterflies” co-authored by Richard W. Mankin. The sounds on those recordings have been incorporated in “The Butterfly Chaser” along with a recording of the Lefevre’s son, Braden. Don Lefevre had approached me first in 2010 to write a work called “The Butterfly Chaser” for his young son, who, when playing catch with his father, would be drawn to the flitter of butterflies rather than the task at hand. The sounds and design of the piece all evoke the lightness of butterflies as well as their symmetrical design while incorporating the acoustic nature of Braden’s saxophone recording. The piece was commissioned to be premiered by the West Texas A&M University Symphonic Band at the 2017 CBDNA convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
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