“Puckett should be a household word.”Parterre Box
commissioned by The United States Air Force Band “The Chief’s Own”
Flute I-II-III [III doubles picc.]
B-flat Clarinets I-II-III [2 on a part, preferably]
Alto Saxophone I-II
Trumpet in B-flat I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion 3 players: Chimes, Marimba, Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Tam-Tam (at least 36’ preferred)
In 1974, Isaac Asimov [creator of the three laws of robotics and father of modern technology based on science fiction] predicted in his short story That thou art mindful of them that before humanoid androids would be accepted into mainstream society, robotic birds and insects would be created to desensitize the population.
While writing this piece, I frequently imagined Asimov dreaming of an aviary far in the future where robotic insects and birds were given life and flew around in constant electronic swarms.
Amazingly, this work has begun. At the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson’s “Micro-Aviary” these robotic insects and birds—or micro-drones as the press has dubbed them—are being developed and put in the field as part of a whole host of projects including weather management and environmental monitoring.
However, as anyone who has read I, Robot or The Naked Sun will know, where there is potential for light in technological innovation, there is also potential for darkness.
I often find myself thinking about the excitement that the researchers at the Micro-Aviary would feel if they were able to show their creations to Asimov and how amazed he would have been to see how quickly these artificial insects and birds have become a reality.
The piece features tightly woven canonic lines that form a furious web [swarm?] of contrapuntal activity over very slow moving [inevitable?] metallic drones.
Asimov’s Aviary was commissioned by The United States Air Force Band “The Chief’s Own” and is dedicated to the men and women at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson and premiered at the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.