Cloud Shapes

for cello and two marimbas (5 octave) | 2008

The title Cloud Shapes was inspired as I was on my way home one evening and I saw this magnificent cloud with the sun directly behind it, causing light beams to shoot from every direction behind the cloud. This really accentuated the shape of the cloud, which was distinct, but hard to describe. Clouds are amazing in the way their shape is constantly changing, growing up and out. Cloud Shapes starts with this idea of growing and stretching outward as intervals are gradually increased. The cello line is a long, free melody (sometimes more of a gesture than a melody), soaring above the amorphous marimba chords that slowly unfold. The middle section introduces a new, very different mood that leaves the nebulous ideas behind. The original material returns shortly with elements of the middle section serving as the accompaniment. The piece climaxes as cascades in the marimbas build under the cello aria before calming to pianissimo as the cello offers one last soaring gesture.