Photo credit: Michaeleen Neher
Ochre Sea Star
3 1/2 minutes
When I was growing up in Washington State, we regularly spotted ochre sea stars at low tides in Puget Sound and along the coast. They are in many respects the quintessential starfish: five arms, hundreds of tiny white tube feet, and, in spite of their name, found in many colors ranging from red to purple to orange. The Ochre Sea star is a keystone species: by feeding on muscles, they make space for all other animals in the intertidal zone.
This piece is an arrangement of a movement from my chamber work, Tidepooling, commissioned by Third Angle New Music. While writing Tidepooling, I learned that a mysterious sea star wasting disease is threatening ochre sea stars, and in this way, the entire ecosystem. This piece expresses my empathy and gratitude for these amazing creatures and my hope that we can work to protect them and all our ocean life.
Score preview coming soon!