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Chant of the Ghost Pipes

While walking in the forests of Michigan, I was struck by a patch of white, rubbery, translucent flowers. I learned that they were Ghost Pipes, a parasitic plant that steals energy and nutrients from the roots of photosynthetic plants and decaying matter as opposed to performing photosynthesis. 

Since I was in a transitional stage of life at the time of writing this piece, I resonated with these flowers’ parasitic nature: I lacked a consistent, permanent source of energy or identity and relied on external sources for rootedness and sustenance.

This piece is an homage to Ghost Pipes, who find rootedness in rootlessness and make it look so beautiful. You will hear the various parts unsynchronized and unable to match up, yet magnetic towards each other and setting one another in motion, like the parasitic relationship between the Ghost Pipes and its surrounding plants. In the mid-section, the music briefly brightens as the ghost pipe consumes sunlight energy from other plants. By the end of the piece, that bright energy is processed back into a dark and elusive state, like the nature of the Ghost Pipes.

This piece was written for ZOFO and performed at the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music.


Piano and melodica: ZOFO 

Performed at the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music

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