A Dream of Trees for violin and double bass: I. A Dream of Trees (after a poem by Mary Oliver)
The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Martha Walvoord, violin
Jack Unzicker, double bass
“There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees…” – Mary Oliver
A Dream of Trees was commissioned by violin and double bass duo Martha Walvoord and Jack Unzicker who performed the premiere of the work at The University of Texas at Arlington in January, 2017. The four movements are inspired by reflections on trees by three poets and a visual artist: Mary Oliver, Rumi, Pablo Neruda and Melissa Harris respectively. Although not programmatic, each movement reveals its own musical “story” – of longing, wonder, whimsy, journey, mystery, intimacy. A true duo, the two instruments sing with lyrical melodies, contrast, weave and merge together to create different textural and emotional spaces. The set takes its name from Mary Oliver’s poignant and beautiful poem on dreams of trees, life and art. The last movement is dedicated to my mentor, composer Margaret Garwood (1927 – 2015) who gifted me with Harris’ “The Blessing Tree” near the end of her life.
– Andrea Clearfield