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The first short piece from my undergraduate at Cardiff University. Original programme note:

My piece is inspired by the common grey squirrel. The title of the piece comes from a unique trait that squirrels have; they are able to descend a tree head-first, due to their ability to rotate their back feet so that they can grip the bark of the tree.

My piece is written in a ABA1 form with each section being linked to a behavioural trait of squirrels. Squirrels find their food then stash them away in caches all over the place, then later use their sense of smell and knowledge of landmarks to locate them, and this is reflected in the A section with its off-beat accents and staccatos. The second section is based on how squirrels mimic the action of hiding their food of they think they’re being watched by a rival, and I have aimed to capture this by fragmenting my motif to make it very unpredictable. In the final section, the squirrel spots a predator and scurried back to where it came from. I’ve evoked a sense of this by using a fermata in bar 31, and by diminuting the notes in the last four bars.

c. 1 minute

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