How to keep butterflies in happy, carefree countenance

Programme Note

How to keep butterflies in happy, carefree countenance, a set of five short movements for solo bass flute, takes as its starting point a passage from the novel Milkman by Anna Burns:

‘[He watched] Natural disaster programmes too, such as David Attenborough talking about insects eating other insects and ferocious wildlife pouncing upon gentle wildlife. Never would he watch programmes about heather or how to keep butterflies in happy, carefree countenance. Those types of programmes never drew him, never interested him’

The piece is inspired by the playfulness and naivete of its title. The first two movements constitute a pair of contrasting fragments to be played together without a break, and this pattern is repeated with the third and fourth movements. The final, more extended movement stands alone as a meditative close to the set.


30th June 2024
Meg Griffith
St. Mary le Strand

Year: 2024
Duration: 8′
Instrumentation: Bass Flute