"Kriobolos" is a Greek word referring to a bloody sacrifice of rams. In writing the piece I was thinking about the sacrifices entailed by devoting one's life to music. I was thinking especially of the particular difficulties that confront women composers, and of the difficulties of dealing with familial rejection and misunderstanding. The piece is structured in three broad sections. It begins with a harsh chromatic chord, which reasserts itself throughout the piece. The A section ends with a long melancholic theme played first by solo trombone and then played in canon by various string groupings. The B section overlays hocketing woodwinds onto a string chord cluster. The cluster becomes bigger, louder, and denser as the section draws to an end. The woodwinds are supported by repeating melodic and rhythmic patterns of different lengths, which begin layering in canon at the end of the section. The A' section returns to the opening dissonance and leads into a long development section. The piece ends with a return to the melancholic theme.
This piece was chosen for the 1993 New Music Reading Session by the Women's Philharmonic in San Francisco., where it was conducted by Elizabeth Shulze. After the reading session it was selected by Joann Falletta to be premiered during the Philharmonic's next concert season; however, due to the orchestra's financial circumstances the performance was canceled.
Instrumentation: Orchestra (2,2,2,2,2,1,1,3 Perc.)