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“Puckett is adept at moving between extreme points on the tonal spectrum for expressive effect”

Opera News
Live performance by Travis J. Cross and the Northwestern University Symphony Wind Ensemble

wind ensemble
7 minutes

commissioned by Eric Wilson and the Abilene Christian University Wind Ensemble


Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
B-flat Clarinets I-II-III [at least 2 on a part]
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trumpet in B-flat I-II-III
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone

Percussion 4 players


Have you ever had a feeling that something good was about to happen? Perhaps just an inkling? Have you ever met someone

and known instantly that you were going to become thick as thieves?

In the fall of 2005, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink. Blink is a book about rapid cognition. The following is from Gladwell’s website:

“When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, “Blink” is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.”

I found this concept inspiring and led to the writing of my work for wind band by the same name. My work features quick changes of both texture and tempo (blink!) while systematically exploring a single motive. The boisterous opening of the piece rigorously works this motive (in both transparent and opaque ways) and climaxes in giving way to a surprisingly quiet and ethereal ending.