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envelop(e) (2020)

by Sunny Knable (b. 1983)

for Celtic Harp and Orff Xylophone

circa 6 minutes

commissioned by Percussia Ensemble



This is a relatively short and meditative piece in four short sections. The unconventional ensemble is not only easily portable, but it also results in a unique and hypnotic timbre. The individual parts are not overly complicated, though it will likely take a good amount of rehearsal time to assemble the faster section. It would be well-programed next to other pieces involving percussion and/or harp, as well as pieces on the subject of sacred music, meditation, and/or music resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic.



envelop(e) is inspired by Psalm 32:7, which reads in one English translation: “You are my hiding place. You will keep me out of trouble and envelop me with songs that remind me I am free.” In the challenging time of COVID-19, the idea of finding spiritual peace, solace, and a sense of freedom through song appealed to me greatly. I tried to infuse this into the textures and note-choice of the Celtic Harp/Orff-xylophone duo, which is itself a peaceful combination of timbres. The title is also a play on words in that I organized the piece into four short miniature movements based on the concept of a sound “envelope” and its four parts: attack, decay, sustain, and release. Do you need to know this to enjoy the piece? Not necessarily. But if you’re like me, you like to know more before or after a performance. So, there you have it. I was grateful to have the opportunity to write and hear music during the pandemic, just as I am grateful to Ingrid Gordon and Susan Jolles for making that happen. So, let the music continue to envelop us!  -- Sunny Knable

envelop(e) (2020)

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