The Apple Tree (2007/16) features an ensemble of independent instruments: accordions, banjos, bells, piano. They are sculptural, intended to fill spaces, and they unfold at a slow enough pace to emphasize surface texture and stasis. Along with a companion piece made a short time before––One Word (2005)––the pieces encourage quiet, contemplative listening.
The Apple Tree was composed in 2007 and remixed in 2015.
My grandfather had an apple orchard in Junction City, Ohio. Some of the strongest memories I have are of visiting the orchard as a child.
Riding the tractor. Running through the spent tobacco in the grass. Climbing ladders with satchels to collect the fruit. Eating so many apples my stomach hurt, and then eating more. Smells, tastes: Sour. Sweet. Fermentation. Oil. Gas. Wood. Machinery that sorted apples, pressed them into cider. A few bottles of ‘apple jack’ in the corner. The constant presence of bees among the crates in the open garage. Roadside stand. My grandfather, sitting in a plastic-wicker chair or leaning back against the tractor, contemplating, quiet.
My father took a tree––a Winesap––from the orchard and planted it in his back yard. I watched it over the seasons, the years. Now there is a tree in my yard, too. Buds, flowers, bees, fruit, ripe, picking, falling, rotting, decay. Again and again, always changing, always moving, always still.