for Bb clarinet and bass clarinet
Lost and Forgotten strives to comment on the state of the environment. The work as a whole is structured around the fading beauty of the American southwest, a region that both I and the commissioners have called home.
The Salt River running dry is in reference to just that. A once lush basin of cottonwood trees with glistening white water, the Salt River now stands as a discarded snakeskin of its former self, having been diverted for irrigation nearly a century ago. The dry riverbed is a startling image to anyone new to the Phoenix area, as it can been seen snaking its way through the metro area without reason or purpose. Since its damming occurred so long ago, there is not anyone around that remembers the region when flowing water readily existed, lending an evermore eerie presences to the dead body of water.
Prodoxidae and the Joshua Tree are a more publicly known environmental losses. Curiously, prodoxidae (the Latin name for the yucca moth) and joshua trees form a closed ecosystem, the former needing the latter for food and the latter requiring the former for pollination. No other specimen can fill these roles, and as the climate of the southwest continues to dry and warm, both creatures are crawling closer to extinction. It is thought that the available habitat for the joshua tree will be reduced by up to 90% in the next quarter century, restricting its growth to higher elevations that lack adequate atmospheric protections for the yucca moth. Both are ultimately destined to be reduced to illustrations in a children’s book and nothing more.
A Quick and Ceremonious Exodus closes the piece with a satirical “march”, eluding to humanity’s exit should we continue to stall drastic action towards combating climate change. Like the Salt River, we all may end up being lost and forgotten.