Written in 2014 while I was a master’s student at Temple University, “Jubal’s Pipes” is a virtuosic duet for flute and clarinet with a primitive, dance-like character. The full ranges of the instruments are called upon, and the performers must navigate passages of tightly-woven imitation, which give the music its playful and elusive atmosphere.
(There’s a saying in jazz drumming, “When in doubt, roll!” The compositional equivalent for me has been,”When in doubt, canon!”)
Jubal is one of the three sons of Lamech named in the genealogy of Cain at the end of Genesis chapter four. His brother is Jabal, “the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock,” and his half-brother Tubal-Cain is called, “the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.” Jubal himself is said to be “the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.” This is the first mention of music or musicians in the Bible. Given the work’s primal air, and the fact that the content of the music is derived so immediately from the instruments themselves, it seemed fitting to title the piece in homage to their first maker.