Axis Mundi for Wind Quintet by Robert Anton Strobel
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon
Score and parts
When I lived in Tallahassee, Florida, I often went walking in the park and the surrounding forest right outside of my apartment. The tall pine trees, the interesting bird songs, and the dense foliage all took away my sense of time or place. It would sometimes seem like I was transported to a mystical, ancient place outside of the world I was familiar with. This work, Axis Mundi is inspired by these experiences and my own general connection with nature. Axis Mundi was an LDS Barlow Commission for the Missouri Quintet. Axis Mundi refers to a connecting place between heaven and earth. In this work, I invite listeners to imagine strange, mystical spectres lurking in waters and forests. Despite the North American indigenous deities in the movements, this work is not meant to reflect a Native American perspective, rather, it reflects general ideas of nature that anyone could feel free to imagine in a mythological sense. In Native American mythology of the Great Lakes area, there was Thunderbird or the somewhat evil Underwater Panther: binaries, each living in worlds of their own connected to earth. The Thunderbird created lightning and lived in the overworld, whereas Underwater Panther was a cat-like water creature with horns and a spindly reptilian back that lived in the underworld, sometimes drowning people. — Robert Strobel
This piece was a Winner in the NFA Newly Published Music Competition 2021.