Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects



Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Scott Burnham

Committee Members

Jason Eckardt

Jeff Nichols

Dimitri Papageorgiou

Subject Categories



Clarinet concerto, composition


Konohana is a concerto for clarinet and ensemble written for the ensemble Court-Circuit in the context of the Composition Academy Philippe Manoury and the Musica Festival in Strasbourg. Konohana (Konohanasakuya-hime) is the goddess of Mount Fuji and the princess of cherry blossoms. She is associated with the sakura and the ephemeral beauty of its blooming. This piece is inspired by the symbolism of the cherry blossom as well as the socio-cultural aspect of the blooming flowers. From the clarinet, contrapuntal lines emerge and progressively densify the instrumental texture like rhizomes. This densification is interrupted by the presence of « inserts », ephemeral blocs of material radically different and interconnected to each other. The clarinet takes advantage of these moments to increasingly gain power. From a subtoned sound to a full sonority, the clarinet distances itself from the rest of the ensemble, which tries to fulfill the function of demiurge during these inserts.

In this piece I applied the different concepts of silence theorized in the first part of this dissertation. Konohana was premiered on October 6th 2017 at the Musica Festival by Pierre Dutrieu and the ensemble Court-Circuit under the direction of Jean Deroyer. The piece is 10 minutes long.


This composition and the essay, “Ways of Silence and Other Absences in the Music of George Crumb,” together constitute the author’s dissertation but are otherwise unrelated.

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