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Parterre Designs

flute, percussion, harp (2021)

Live recording—8.7.21
Catherine Case, harp; Jennifer Rhyne, flute; Miho Takekawa, percussion
Lagerquist Concert Hall, Pacific Lutheran University


Duration: 11 minutes
Commissioned by: Catherine Case with support from The American Harp Society
Premiere: 8.7.21
Lagerquist Concert Hall, Pacific Lutheran University


Score + parts — $40

Score + parts — $65 (shipping included)

Digital performance materials will be emailed within 1-3 business days.
Print versions will be sent via USPS within 14 business days.

program note

Originating in 16th century France, a parterre is a formal garden laid out on a level area and made of enclosed beds separated by gravel. The beds contain colorful flowers surrounded by hedges, with the complete garden specifically designed to be viewed from above, such as from the upper floor of a house.

The musical material is divided into short movements, each with its distinct mood yet closely related to the other sections. I imagined scenes of fictional characters wandering through a parterre—a couple in focused conversation, children running down pathways, a trio of skeletons dancing into the evening. As with a parterre, the striking feature of the work is intended to be the full twisting, eclectic sonic landscape.

Parterre Designs consists of seven movements with the following titles:

I. Slightly formal, with anticipation
II. Clattering (imagine dancing skeletons)
III. Frolicking
IV. Spiraling, pressing forward
V. Languid, bittersweet
VI. Clattering (a little tipsy)
VII. Melting