The Dandelion is a new commission requested by the Colorado State University Percussion Ensemble to feature developing undergraduate students in a rhythmically challenging work. The piece features a variety of artificial and odd rhythmic groupings assigned to individual players to add adversity and complexity to more simplistic patterns.Aside from the timpani, the variety of sounds are provided through non-specific pitched instruments primarily in skins and metals, with the addition of vocalizations provided by the performers. Various friction and white-noise effects (such as lion's roar, maracas and shakers) representing the pernicious weed are constantly battling the relentless gardening implements in the form of declamatory timpani and other drums. This piece is dedicated to the memory of Christopher Rouse whose invaluable contributions to percussion repertoire continue to inspire composers.
O DANDELION, rich and haughty, King of village flowers! Each day is coronation time, You have no humble hours. I like to see you bring a troop To beat the blue-grass spears, To scorn the lawn-mower that would be Like fate's triumphant shears. Your yellow heads are cut away, It seems your reign is o'er. By noon you raise a sea of stars More golden than before.