Composition - - American Recorder Society
Transparent Letters Across the Sky - PtRM 2021
By Melika Fitzhugh 2/20/2020
Wouldn’t it be nice if March 2021 rolls around, and finds us celebrating Play-the-Recorder Month 2021 together, in person?  While we hope for that day, the ARS plans to make the most of the month, providing you with a challenging project we can all enjoy many ways. 
The centerpiece of the month is the commissioned piece for Play-the-Recorder Day 2021, by Boston composer Melika M. Fitzhugh, entitled “Transparent Letters Across the Sky.”  The ARS is honored to present Melika’s work. A graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe (A.B. in Music Theory and Composition), and the Longy School of Bard College (M.M. in Composition), Melika is an award-winning composer, teacher, and director, whose works have been commissioned and performed in the U.S. and internationally.

This joyful, spirited composition is inspired by the Pablo Neruda poem, quoted below.
Performance Notes:  Small notes are higher and/or faster alternatives for adventuresome players. A mixture of the two is quite acceptable, so feel free to start easy and work your way up. D’s and A’s trill up to E-flat and B-flat; however, flutter tongue (playing a note while producing a rolled “r” – either frontof-the-tongue Spanish-style “r” or back of the tongue German-style “r”) can be substituted for any troublesome trills. For the falls ( such as in measure 2): reduce the air pressure and volume of the note but do not correct the pitch; let it sag naturally. Falls are a sort of sigh. The title is from a translation of poem VII of Libro de Las Preguntas by Pablo Neruda (Book of Questions, 1973):
“What happens to swallows who are late for school?
Is it true that they scatter transparent letters across the sky?”
-- Melika M. Fitzhugh, February 2020
ARS offers a special video to help with rehearsing and performing this piece.  Melika Fitzhugh conducts, as each of the four parts is performed by Emily O'Brien.

Video with conductor and all parts played
Play-along videos (one part missing):
No soprano (you play soprano)
No alto (you play alto)
No tenor (you play tenor)
No bass (you play bass)
No. of Recorder Parts: 4
Difficulty: Challenging
Occasion: Any
Libraries: Play the Recorder Month Archive, Play-alongs
Date Added: 11/25/2020
Style: Concert, Non-tonal/Modern, Recorded Accompaniment