CatNip was inspired by the crazy antics of the composer’s cats following their exposure to catnip. A fast tempo fuels this highly rhythmic single movement work with the flute presenting a constantly changing and somewhat unpredictable melody which continues from beginning to end. This is supported by the violoncello and piano which complement the flute’s antics with a lively accompaniment and frequent interjections or interruptions. Contrasts between duple and triple time are exploited while articulation, accentuation, and dynamic changes all contribute to the energetic presentation.
Harmonically, the composition utilizes primarily triadic structures, usually minor and diminished which are juxtaposed with the major triad. B flat major, G major, and especially D major become the tonal centers to which all other triadic progressions lead. Additive rhythmic presentations contribute to the feelings of the unexpected, with groupings of two, three, or four notes throughout. Offbeat accents and subito piano or fortissimo contribute to the feline-induced musical activities!
Instrumentation: Flute, Violoncello, and Piano
Duration: 6 minutes