tenor saxophone and fixed media electronics

duration 10'45”

Shortly after embarking on the composition of Biota, I read about the great diversity of life thriving in forest canopies throughout the world. In such environments, a single tree may house an unimaginable number of species – from birds, mammals, and insects to countless microorganisms – that each play a vital a role in maintaining the delicate balance that allows life flourish. I continue to be fascinated by these unseen ecosystems, and am aware that they represent a microcosm for all life on earth.   

When composing this work, I pictured a massive tree in an ancient forest. The music depicts a journey up, down, and through the tree, exploring life in its deepest roots to its uppermost leaf. At times I envisioned focusing in on an incredibly small single-cell creature, while in other moments I imagined sweeping out to reveal the entire organism teaming with life. Biota is a celebration of life, with all of its diversity and mystery.  It is also a reminder that we are merely one small component of a much greater system, but have the potential to play a large role in sustaining its balance and allowing it to flourish. Biota was composed for saxophonist J. Michael Holmes in 2010.


Drew Whiting, tenor saxophone. Recorded at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Nathan Edwards recording engineer.

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$15.00 USD - one score (PDF), one audio file for performance (WAV), audio file with click track (WAV)

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