Now I Pull Silver

Score title

Now I Pull Silver


Libby Larsen

More about the composer



Program note

Greek mythology gives us the story of Arachne, a peasant girl, who boasted that her weaving was the equal of Athena’s, whereupon the goddess challenged her to a contest. Goddess and mortal finished their work at the same time and it was indeed of equal beauty. Enraged, Athena punished Arachne, changing her into a spider. She would never again be heard and sightings would be furtive and impermanent. A. E. Stallings’ poem Arachne Gives Thanks to Athena is a gentle telling in Arachne’s voice of the punishment turned gift.

Now I Pull Silver is a sonic soliloquy for interior flute and prepared CD. While spinning her web, Arachne speaks the words of the poem as if she were speaking either to herself or to any being within intimate distance. She casts her filaments or whistle tones, brass wind chimes, a silvertone lap slide guitar, as she almost, but not quite, inaudibly scuttles from anchor point to anchor point (kalimba). As spiders cast their webs largely unnoticed, the piece should be listened to on headphones with eyes closed or in half-light when performed live.

— Libby Larsen