for clarinet & string quartet
  I. Yellowbarn State Forest   
    (Stillness—Playful—Wistful—Animated) Music player
  II. Into the White Mist Music player
  III. The Ice Cracking on a Swift-Flowing Stream
The inspiration for Intimate Distance comes from my memories of cross-country skiing in the forests of upstate New York.  The first movement evokes various experiences of the snow-covered forest: the stillness so quiet you can hear the snowflakes hitting the ground; the sight of rabbits, deer, mice, and birds pursuing awkward yet deliberate movements in the deep snow; the peace of mind that comes while pausing to reflect among the trees; and the rush of excitement when sliding downhill.

The ethereal quality of the second movement captures the sensation of being carried by a ski lift up into a fog so dense I couldn’t see the ground.  The enveloping white mist feels like an extension of the snow and tethers me gently to the ground below . . .

The turbulence of the third movement suggests the panic I felt when skiing some freshly-fallen snow and I heard a cracking sound underneath me —I was on top of a frozen stream that had begun to thaw!  As the ice started to break, I could see water flowing rapidly over the rocky bed.