kingsbury branch

Beginning at the Robinson Sawmill in Calais, Vermont, this piece for clarinet, trombone, viola, contrabass, and digital playback follows 8 miles of the Kingsbury Branch watershed, and derives its musical materials from new and archival field recordings made at a series of local sites. Each movement surfaces a different way that settler-colonial history is etched into rural soundscapes.

The piece was premiered by TURNmusic on July 10, 2021 in the Goddard College gardens, the final site in this sonic journey.

Through aural explorations of waterways, church bells, invasive species, and archived oral histories, this multi-movement piece for ensemble and electronics offers a heightened environment for reflecting on rural space, settler-colonialism, and and the construction of historical narrative.

A recording of the full piece by TURNmusic

The score of the piece is a 95-page hybrid text that weaves local history, hand-traced images, decolonial theory, and process notes into the notated music. The intention is for audience members to read the text and listen to the piece simultaneously.

This piece is funded in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

An interview with Desmond Peeples of the Vermont Arts Council about the ideas behind this piece can be found here.