The Hundred Acre Wood Suite
for Chamber Orchestra
"Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Supposing it didn't," said Pooh after careful thought.
Drawing of Pooh with a Balloon
"Upward Bound" by Emily Bernstein

I have loved the Winnie-the-Pooh books ever since I rediscovered them in high school on the bookshelf in my grandmother's house. They are such wonderful books, in part because while kids can get swept up in the colorful, vivid imagery, adults can appreciate the subtle humor and word play. I know that, for both these reasons, I very much look forward to having the experience of reading these books to whatever children (or adults) come into my life.

Beyond just the beauty and craft of the writing, there are some real philosophical undertones in the books that make them even more relevant to an adult audience. For instance, in his book The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff explains how each of the characters illustrates an exaggerated version of a particular human emotion or tendency. Rabbit, for instance, represents Busyness and Doing, Piglet represents Worry and Anxiety (though, like most people who worry too much, he is so much more than that), Kanga represents motherly love, Owl represents (pseudo-) intellectualism and Eeyore... well... he represents the moody side of us that sometimes just wants to sit and wallow. (Some have actually presented the characters as representing mental illness, but I tend to think that this is just a bi-product of the fact that they are caricatures.) In Benjamin Hoff's portrayal, Pooh holds a special place as a representation of pure, uncomplicated presence. Pooh is just there, allowing himself to simply go along with the natural flow of things. Though his plans may often be ill-conceived, somehow everything turns out alright in the end.

This piece was inspired by the suggestion of Maria Bybee, and at each step of the way was influenced by her thoughts and constructive criticism. She helped me to flesh out the narrative shapes of many of the movements, and was generally very much involved in the creative process. Thus, it was truly created with her, and would not exist without her.

That Enchanted Place:
Pooh Goes Visiting:
Rabbit's Busy Day:
Piglet Dreams of Grand Things:
Eeyore's Gloomy Place:
The Thigns Wol Nose:
Bedtime for Baby Roo:

The above recording was performed by a Wonderful Ensemble of student and professional players in the Stanford University area:

Flute -- Ellen Huet

Oboe -- Ivan Aladjoff

Clarinet -- Geoffery Buhr

Bassoon -- Mihail Iliev

Horn -- Jordan Limonges

Trumpet -- Jack Godwin and Bob Fitt

Trombone -- Phillip Mayer

Violin 1 -- Rochelle Nguyen and Kelly Ding

Violin 2 -- Ed Moy and Tara Benz-Moy

Viola -- Todd La Guardia and Sarah Pfiffer

Cello -- Yelena Nazarova and Broer Oatis

Bass -- Matt Gerhardt

Piano -- Josh Archibald-Seiffer

Percussion -- Brian Flamm

Both the composition and performance of the work were supported by a generous grant from Stanford Undergraduate Advising and Research, as well as the Stanford University Music Department. Thank you all so much!