David A. Jones

Composer, Performer

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Thirty-three Little Girls Set Out

Violin and Piano

This piece was written in response to a Max Ernst painting of the same title. I was struck by the painting's bright colors and the grand, playful adventure the title suggests. The bright chords in the extreme registers of the piano at the outset of the piece depict the brilliant explosion of light emanating from the center of the painting. The energetic section that follows captures a scene of excitement as hundreds of butterflies are released into the wild and dozens of little girls run off into the woods to go catch them. The slower but playful middle section depicts scenes of the girls' adventures and misadventures as they chase their quarry. A dark, plaintive section follows as some of the girls wander a bit too far and find themselves in the deepest part of the woods, filled with shadows and mysterious shapes. Their cheerful spirits unmarred by the frightening experience, the girls soon stumble back into familiar territory, reunite with their friends, and continue their hunt.