“…the moon commands…”

“…the moon commands…”
(A Nocturne for Flute, Percussion, Soprano and Piano)
Dan Locklair

“…the moon commands…” was commissioned by the North Carolina State Music Teachers Association (of Music Teachers National Association) for its October, 1985 State Convention in Chapel Hill, NC. Dedicated to my parents (Mr. & Mrs. A.G. Locklair), the piece is played in one movement without pause. Based on two poems* from the book PARABOLA RASA by my Wake Forest University colleague, poet and professor D.R. Fosso, these poems are central to the work’s structure and display the soprano voice in its traditional role as soloist. In addition, the words “Parabola rasa” (the title of Mr. Fosso’s longest poem in PARABOLA RASA) are used throughout the composition and allow the soprano voice to be heard in a purely instrumental role. (The significance of the word “Parabola” is in its meaning as a non-returning curve. Further, stretching to the Greek, its meaning refers to parables and stories of the self.)

The two complete poems used in “…the moon commands…” are as follows:


She among envy of air
came, gentle, a ghost
to settle moonlit hollows.

Easing acres grew relief
from fragrance left to loss.

She made brief composure
and airs forgot to be
unastonished emptiness.


rocks hold up to
barren blue
while taunt of wind
rips into granite look

I’m scared again;
my eyes are eagles
holding onto stone

not to fly
the giving way
is, before the drop,
too much and not enough
D.R. Fosso

Duration of “…the moon commands…” = ca. 13 minutes

Instrumentation for “…the moon commands… is:

Flute in C
Percussion :
Orchestral chimes (C-F)
Crotales (C-C) – struck and bowed;
one octave, sounding two
octaves higher
Vibraphone (F-F) – mallets and bowed
Xylophone (F-C) – sounding 8va

Small bass drum
Large suspended cymbal
Bell tree
Small Tam-tam
Four (4) Tom Toms

Dan Locklair
June 1985
Winston-Salem, NC/USA

*from PARABOLA RASA by D.R. Fosso, published by Stuart Wright, ©1984 and used with the kind permission of the poet. “…the moon commands…” is excerpted from the poem, Parabola rasa.