for double bass and piano
Blue Neon Tumbleweed III is the third of three pieces (so far) inspired by a work of the well-known American glass artist, Dale Chihuly. The first is a movement from Two for Chihuly, for clarinet and bass clarinet, composed in 2017 and the second a work for solo xylophone composed in 2018. This music is based on motives from the earlier works, but is in not an arrangement or transcription of either of them.
However, the program notes for the first work apply equally well here: Blue Neon Tumbleweed is housed in the Chihuly Collection of the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is exactly what you might think: very, very blue and bursting with light and energy. It doesn’t move, but as someone who grew up around tumbleweeds, I could easily imagine it rolling along the plains, blown here and there unpredictably by the constantly shifting Texas Panhandle winds. I have tried to capture that unpredictability with appropriately swirling motives, sudden changes of dynamics and register, and a momentum that lets up only occasionally and briefly.
Blue Neon Tumbleweed III was written for bassist Michael Cameron.