Butterfly Ecosystem (2005)

An instructional score for an ensemble of improvisers, based on environmental conditions and behavioral aspects of migrating butterflies. Performed by the Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble.

This piece was created as part of my research and preparation for making Butterfly Effects. I studied with the composer and improviser Fred Frith, and wrote an instructional score for the Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, a group of improvisers playing acoustic instruments. This score, called Butterfly Ecosystem, provided the improvisers with written instructions for generating environmental sounds like wind and rain, and sounds associated with butterfly behaviors like clustering and flying away. This was a way of doing preliminary “programming” of sounds in dialogue with other musicians, to test out ways of producing sound through descriptive text and metaphor, before I approached the similar task of composing Butterfly Effects in the SuperCollider language.

The piece is of open-ended duration.

View the score: PDF