Winged serpent for clarinet and piano (2001)


Based on a Native American tale of the origination of the Milky Way. According to the tale, there was once a small serpent whose father was the best hunter in his tribe. No bigger than a worm, the serpent ate only the hearts of birds. The more it grew the more hearts the serpent needed until the forest was emptied of birds. The father then provided the serpent with jaguars’ hearts until there were no more jaguars in the forest. “I want human hearts”, said the serpent. The hunter emptied his village and its vicinity of people until one day in a far-off village he was spotted and killed. Driven by hunger and nostalgia the serpent went to look for his father. On finding him dead, the serpent in anger coiled his body around the guilty village so that no one could escape. The serpent then rescued his father’s body and grew upward. There he can still be seen undulating, bristling with luminous arrows, across the night sky. A sinuous melodic motif personifying the snake appears on and off in different registers and instruments. Throughout the piece this thematic material interacts with a bittersweet theme representing the father-son relationship.

Published by Hidden Oaks Music Co.