A memory quilt is made by combining pieces of fabric (and/or other materials) that have some significance for the quilter(s).
For my musical Memory Quilt (1999), I began by laying out a few compositional fragments that I liked
but had never used (usually because I had changed my mind and decided to take those pieces in a different direction), and
then I experimentally combined them in different ways until I found a result that seemed promising.
I also composed a significant amount of new material based on the musical fragments to give cohesiveness to the musical structure.
While working on this project, I noticed that some of the sections triggered strong and sometimes painful memories that related to the periods in which they were composed, which gave me the idea for the title. Although this approach may seem like a recipe for a disjointed composition, Memory Quilt did not turn out that way; it has some unexpected and dramatic changes in mood, but to me at least, it all fits together in an organic way. It has been performed by a variety of flute/piano performers, including Michelle Cheramy/Kristina Szutor, Karen Aurell/Barbara Pritchard, Vox 21 (Ireland), and Leslie Newman/Tim Steeves, who perform it beautifully on this recording.
©Clark Winslow Ross