Mother Earth

duration: 11:00
instrumentation: Flute, Saxophone Quartet (SATB) + Electronics
premiere: June 5, 2014 // Weill Recital Hall // Carnegie Hall, NYC
premiere performer: Andrea Lee Smith, flute; New Thread Quartet (Geoff Landman, soprano saxophone, Kristen McKeon, alto saxophone; Erin Rogers, tenor saxophone; Zach Herchen, baritone saxophone); Paul Pinto, electronics
publisher: A-Town Publications (ASCAP) © 2014
Mother Earth was commissioned by Andrea Lee Smith with support from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.

Program Note:
Mother Earth for flute, saxophone quartet, and electronics was inspired by the Isaac Asimov short story of the same name. Asimov is known for creating a highly detailed version of the future within his extensive body of work and, in recent years, has received attention for the accuracy of his predictions as they relate to technology, socio-economics and politics. In Mother Earth, the battle wages between an overpopulated Earth, the mother planet, and Aurora, the outer world – a metaphoric suburban paradise. The flutist assumes the role of Aurora, often in lockstep with the rest of the earthly ensemble, but constantly working toward a better, shinier version. This work reflects Asimov’s description of our planetary de-civilization through decades of over crowding, system failure, and overreach.

Mother Earth is divided into 4 main sections (A, B, C, & D). Section A is a series of rising gestures in the upper voices, over a thick and muddled foundation of bass multiphonics, with complementary electronic bursts during the ensemble silences. This section symbolizes an uprising of sorts. Section B is a blend between the upper and lower voices as the ensemble works to find stability within its structure. Section C is a bombastic war-like passage, reaching extremes in range and volume, and section D is a series of falling instrumental lines from the saxophone altissimo register into a quiet end.               —Erin Rogers (2018)

Sheet Music: Mother Earth