Mark Applebaum
Composer / Performer / Educator

Sock Monkey: (2007)

Aphasia score sample

Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, 4 percussion, piano (doubling celesta), 2 harps, strings. Requested by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.

Sock Monkey (subtitled Transcription of a Little Girl Running around the House) was composed for Jindong Cai and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra during a particularly focused two-week period straddling the end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007. I attempted, at first, to compose a short, five-movement work constituting autonomous, concise, aphoristic orchestral statements. Soon it became clear that these movements wanted to be connected into a single continuous discourse, with three primary sections (I, III, & V) joined by two “bridge” ones (II & IV). The logistical circumstances of the composition involved many pieces of paper on many tables in many rooms of my house. Wherever I would relocate in order to concentrate on the project, my 18-month old daughter would follow peripatetically; occasionally she would sit quizzically/inquisitively on my lap while I composed, but more often she would bounce off the walls in her characteristically exuberant, playful, and mercurial manner. Her energetic “distractions”—far more entertaining than my music—were always accompanied by her ubiquitous pink sock monkey.

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Download score (PDF- 9MB)

A recording of the work appears on the accompanying (eponymous) CD Sock Monkey.