Dream in Aqua & Scarlet was commissioned by Alejandro Escuer, virtuoso Mexican flutist, and it appears on his CD entitled Aqua.

Score, Parts and Electronics available from

Voice House Publishing

It came about as result of a trip to my childhood home, after a 30+ year absence, to make good on an pledge made back in the late 1960s. As teenagers my friends and I had vowed that, no matter where we were and who we had become, we would return and meet at the quiet fresh water springs, in the heart of the old arboretum, at dawn on May 1st, 2000 — in the turn of the millennium.

Aesthetically the work belongs to the ancient lineage of the Americas, where since the Neolithic there has been a devotion to exploring the momentary nuances of experiential reality, and the blurring of the border between individual and general, and which has its literary constituent in the so-called "magical realism" of such Latin American authors as Garcia-Marquez.

The opening giant insect is actually a stereo recording of the creek flowing out from the spring, with stereo image reduced to the size of a large flies' wings, spun around in a circle at 100 time/second, and then "flown" around the sound stage with doppler to complete the transformation. The idea is that it flies around the room, and finally alights on the nose of the listener, at which time the propellor-wings slow down and expand, suddenly growing into the spring, to be quickly pushed aside by someone's hand, like a puddle of water on a countertop could be swept aside, and then the piece begins. I wrote a poem to go with it, which one never hears completely, and which mimics the water (and becomes convolved into the spring eventually). The notes all come from the birds, slowed down one or two octaves. The flute mimics these, eventually the insects begin to buzz/hum the same melodies, as did the water at one point, but I backed off on that finally. It sounds great in a big space, at healthy volume. In case you are interested I have attached the poem. FYI: the arboretum spring really is in the key of G. here is the poem

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Alejandro Escuer

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