Purchase Dragon’s Breath
Duration: Approximately 10 minutes
Instrumentation: Clarinet Duet
Dragon’s Breath was commissioned by Olivia Meadows and Shengwen Wu and was completed in 2019, the year they both finished their doctorates at Arizona State University, to be performed at Clarinetfest 2019 in Knoxville, TN. The title came to me as I was thinking of inspiration, and I envisioned an image of a Dragon, with a camera panning the anatomy of the Dragon from the tail up the body of the dragon, ending at its head. Thus, the name of the movements are Tail, Wings, Scales, Eyes, Breath. My inspiration was so vivid as I was writing that I decided to commission cover art from an emerging local artist and friend, Michael Suess.
The dragon in my imagination is peaceful and benevolent, yet strong and powerful when angered. The dragon’s anatomy is musically represented according to its ability or special power.
The Tail is a secret weapon used in attack or defense, with deadly, bone-crushing spikes.
The Wings are thin yet strong, fire resistant, and have the ability to push the enemy in range of the dragon’s breath. Although the wings can be used in battle, they also give the dragon the gift of flight and peacefulness.
The dragon’s Scales are colorful, luminous, pulsating heat, and impenetrable.
The Eyes of a dragon see in perfect focus and vivid color. The dragon’s stare can place the viewer in a trance.
Finally, the Dragon’s Breath is its most powerful weapon. Whether by fire or ice, it can cause instant destruction in a single blast.
Dragon’s Breath is a metaphor for overcoming a difficult or impossible situation. By the power of grace, faith, and inner strength, we all have the ability to defeat any affliction or adversity. Our words, like the Dragon’s Breath, are often our most powerful tool and should be used with extreme care.
Cover Art by: Michael Suess