Now Available! Wooden Stone for Bassoon and Percussion by Jenni Brandon

NEW RELEASE from Jenni Brandon Music

Wooden Stone for Bassoon and Percussion

(Vibraphone, Marimba, Wooden Windchimes, Tom-toms, Surdo)
JB 165

To Purchase: Wooden Stone for Bassoon and Percussion – Jenni Brandon


Jenni Brandon’s new work Wooden Stone for Bassoon and Percussion (Vibraphone, Marimba, Wooden Windchimes, Tom-toms, Surdo) is inspired by the poem “Wooden Stone” by Karla Linn Merrifield. This work explores petrified wood, or the fossilized wood where the living parts of the tree are replaced by a mineralization process that turns the wood into stone. It maintains the original shape of the organic material, now hardened, and its transformation takes place underground once the wood has become submerged in volcanic ash or water. Using the colors of both wooden instruments and metals, this work follows the story of a tree turned to petrified wood, and its ancient journey of transformation.  Within the work you’ll hear the colors of wooden windchimes, representing the trees, the tom-toms and surdo representing the father as a rock of the old gneiss tribe (gneiss is a type of rock that has a banded texture on it). There is much freedom throughout the work to create the colors of transformation. From multiphonic sounds in the bassoon representing the line “You were born of substances primordial, creature of green and brown and gray,” to the lullaby of the “blessed midwife who now witnesses another rebirth”, this work is the story of the passage of time preserved in the beauty of transformation.

The poet Karla Linn Merrifield references the Columbia River Shores, and in Washington where the river runs is the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park/Wanapum Recreation Area. The discovery of petrified wood in this region includes petrified trees such as ginkgo, Dougla-fir, spruce, elm and others that had been covered in volcanic ash and became petrified wood.,

Commissioned by Across the Grain Duo original members Susan Nelson, bassoon and Jeff Barudin, percussion, this work was premiered at Bowling Green State University in March 2023 with Susan Nelson on bassoon and Colin McCall on percussion, who helped develop and refine the percussion part. The premiere recording of this work will appear on their upcoming album in 2024.


Wooden Stone
Poem by Karla Linn Merrifield

Yes, my beloved child,
your mother was a tree,
one of the ancient ginkgo people,
and your father was a rock,
one of the old gneiss tribe.

Yes, my beloved child,
you were born of substances primordial,
creature of green and brown and gray,
once a seed, once a lava flow.

Yes, my beloved child,
I am your blessed midwife who now
witnesses another rebirth,
rising up from Columbia River shores
in the shadow of petroglyphs–
artists’ notations of an unknown nation

My beloved child, you became petrified
in glacial ridges, in volcanic fire,
made of the Mother and the Father,
and with my hands delivered
into cool forests, cold stone,
where you, my beloved child,
rest again in solid, quiet dignity
after ten thousand years of hidden longing.

“Wooden Stone” by Karla Linn Merrifield from LITHIC SCATTER AND OTHER POEMS, copyright 2013 by Karla Linn Merrifield. Reprinted by permission of the poet.