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These Feathered Walls


These Feathered Walls, for solo cello and string orchestra; 10 minutes.
Commissioned by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.
Premiered by Graham Nelson and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.
Anthony Quartuccio, conductor.

These Feathered Walls is a reflection upon the resilience of nature and the human spirit.  The programmatic nature of the piece is guided entirely by the structure and imagery of its text.  From the lyrical movement of falling leaves to the stillness of quiet meditation, the figures, having cast off these feathered walls, find within them strength, beauty, and trust.

Low breaths drawn, blue and grey.
These feathered walls shall fall away.

Where lonely emeralds fade to gold,
And the grieving ambers yield to auburn,
There all withered arms are laid down before us
To brave the waning blight of mourning.

Though the weathered falls might blind us from the day,
Calling us away,
Steadfast boughs will stay their hands,
And into the sweeping course of breaths yet drawn
Send forth reminders of the dawn
When feathered walls took wing there...

While we walked in rivers of gold
In the night.


These Feathered Walls, as adapted and performed by Celli@Berkeley, is now available for purchase on their debut album.


Live recording as adapted and performed by Celli, an all-cello ensemble in Berkeley, California.
Graham Nelson, solo cello.

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