“Colored Stones”, by Jenni Brandon, Performed by Cayla Bellamy

“Colored Stones”, by Jenni Brandon, is performed by Cayla Bellamy on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM MDT. The performance is livestream recital hosted by the Colorado State University Center for the ArtsColorado State Bassoon Studio.

The sound of the bassoon is historically recognized as that of the ancient, the foolish, and often the tragic. With a new wave of music for this unique instrument, composers of diverse backgrounds are celebrating its possibilities as a painter of the contemplative, lush, resilient, and metallic. Join Cayla Bellamy, CSU’s newest addition to the woodwind faculty, as she explores a fresh collection of works for the bassoon, all written and introduced by living American composers.

“Colored Stones” for solo bassoon tells the story of three stones: smoky quartz, lapis lazuli, and tiger’s eye. Some cultures and spiritual practices believe these stones have powerful qualities such as the ability to heal, protect, and offer spiritual guidance. The bassoon explores these beautiful stones’ unique qualities.

“Colored Stones” was chosen as the winner of the 2014 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition and to have this work premiered by Susan Nelson.

This work is available for purchase through Imagine Music Publishing.


“Colored Stones” (Jenni Brandon)

  1. Smoky Quartz: An incredibly grounding stone, this smoky brown stone transforms and diffuses negative energy. The bassoon changes from a sense of grounding to playfulness, exploring this balance of energy. In the end, it always finds its way back to telling the story of the grounding quality of the stone.
  2. Lapis Lazuli – Prized for its colors, this deep blue stone was used by kings and queens in paintings and ceremonial robes. Believed to help foster truthful expression and communication, it supports the immune system and brings peace. The bassoon explores the luxurious blue color, mixing in flashes of gold found in the stone.
  3. Tiger’s Eye – Tiger’s eye, a golden brown to deep red stone, is very grounding and can bring luck and ward off evil. The bassoon is sometimes “protective and seeing, moving quickly to remove the look of the “evil eye” and other times moving dreamily through an ancient landscape of protective energy.

DEEP (Alex Shapiro)

Dark Matter (Marc Mellits)

Red Maple (Joan Tower)

with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra

Jason Weinberger, conductor