Clarice Assad


(2024) Flow

Suite For Piano & Orchestra

Commissioned by the Albany Symphony | 15 Minutes

The Erie Canal, an engineering marvel of the early 19th century, revolutionized transportation and commerce and served as a conduit for the “flow of ideas” that shaped the United States. The concept of the “flow of ideas” refers to the exchange and spread of various social, political, and religious movements along the canal corridor. As people from diverse backgrounds traveled the waterway, they shared their beliefs, customs, and perspectives, fostering a vibrant intellectual and societal change atmosphere.

The canal facilitated the spread of social reform movements such as abolitionism and women’s suffrage, as activists could more easily disseminate their messages and garner support.  The influx of immigrants brought by the canal further enriched the nation’s cultural tapestry, introducing new languages, traditions, and ideas that helped define the country’s character and history.

The piano suite “FLOW,” commissioned by the Albany Symphony seeks a connection between the Erie Canal’s “flow of ideas” and the symbolic currents of emotions I explore through the music:   “River Tide,” with its pulsating rhythms and changing moods, musically embodies the dynamic nature of the flow of ideas that traveled the canal.  “The Last Song” offers a moment of introspection and contemplation.  Finally, “Rhapsodic Dances” bursts with renewed energy, celebrating resilience and adaptability. 

I. River Tide II. The Last Song III. Rhapsodic Dance


Flute, piccolo, 2 Clarinets, 2 Oboes, 2 Bassoons, 4 Honrs in F, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Piano, Perc. 1: Tam-tam, glockenspiel, xylophone, vibraphone, sleigh bells, roto toms. Perc 2: Tambourine, Large Bass Drum, Roto Toms, Snare Drum | Strings

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