flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion


11 minutes

Commissioned by/Premiere

South Catalina was commissioned by the Stuart and Maxine Frankel Foundation for the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall

Visual arts production elements made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

Premiered by eighth blackbird at Seligman Performing Arts Center, Franklin, MI, on June 27, 2015


Purchase from Project Schott New York



Also available from iTunes.


South Catalina draws its inspiration from two sources. First is the amazing work Swarm by the London-based artist collective, rAndom International. The interactive sculpture responds to sound impulses with a blast of asynchronous lights. When seeing the work at the entrance to the Frenkel Art Foundation, I immediately knew I would write a piece of music where sharp and loud attacks in the piano and percussion would inspire a flurry of wild and improvisatory gestures from the rest of the ensemble.

I spent much of the fall of 2013 living in Los Angeles, preparing for the inaugural production of my opera, Invisible Cities. One of the things that struck me about living in Southern California is the amazing light. Every day, without fail, is amazingly bright, and while this can be initially enchanting for an East Coaster, it can also feel oppressively out of sync with one’s mood. South Catalina draws on both of these sensations with its driving optimism but also its relentless forward movement. The title is drawn from the street in the Koreatown neighborhood of LA where I lived.


Christopher Cerrone’s bright, minimalist-based South Catalina was inspired partly by the composer’s stay in Southern California, though what I responded to in the piece was the long-breathed flute writing that almost sounded like a Bach chorale slowed down and enveloping the piece’s restless invention in a benevolent embrace.

Daniel Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Enquirer