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Levi Raleigh Brown

Anatomy of a Breath

when god decided to invent

everything he took one

breath bigger than a circustent

and everything began


when man determined to destroy

himself he picked the was

of shall and finding only why

smashed it into because


- e.e. cummings


Based on this poem by E.E. Cummings, the piece explores the idea of the universe as a complete, single, all-encompassing breath, versus humanity’s tendency to break everything into categories, definitions, functions, causes, and effects. Musically the piece follows a chaotic but beautiful “circus” of the world as it is distilled and divided into musical segments, possibly offering temporal direction and meaning, but ultimately providing no more than attempt at an anatomy of a breath.

An alto saxophone duet, this piece is expected to be performed soon by Charlotte Leung and Maria Torres-Melgares.

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