For Bassoon & Piano
By Anna E. Garman
Flayed is a composer's equivalent of a free improvisation on a few motives. While the overall structure of the piece is a tidyA-B-Aform, the individual phrases are often irregular or elided and the motives are broken apart and pieced back together in a variety of ways. This gives the music--in particular the A sections--a tumultuous, ever-moving character. The title is a loose reference to the breaking apart of these motives. The motives themselves were designed to take advantage of the composer's favorite attributes of the bassoon. In the first A section the opening motive is a very high, intense melody that is later displayed in different registers and with varying accompaniments, and the primary motive is a quick staccato gesture with large leaps. Both motives take full advantage of the bassoon's impressive range. In contrast, the B section focuses on the bassoon's lyrical capabilities with a much longer melody that forgoes the bassoon's upper register in favor of its rich middle and lower register. When the A section returns so does the primary motive, this time even more relentless as it builds to the end of the piece.