Composed: 2005
Commission:  The Verdehr Trio and Michigan State University
Premiere:  Vedehr Trio, East Lansing, MI, January 22, 2006
Duration:  13 minutes
Instrumentation: violin, clarinet, piano


I.    Joyful Moment
II.    Reverie
III.   Escaping

Trio was written for the Verdehr Trio, and commissioned by the Verdehr Trio and Michigan State University. Each of the three movements in Trio represents an emotion or state of mind.  In the first movement it is joy, with bright and glowing sounds that seem sometimes to dance.  The state of mind in the second movement is one of calmness, stillness and reverie.  The third movement is all about tension and anxiety.  It begins with contrasting ideas of underlying nervous tension and brilliant, brittle outbursts that are passed around between the players.  A middle section of strong rhythmic emphasis somehow changes the nervousness into a focused energy.  Certain formal aspects of Trio were planned according to a formula of combining notes that was inspired by James Gleick’s book, "Chaos".  He writes that “the attracting pull of four points . . . creates basins of attractions. . . . But each particle does not move independently – its motion depends very much on the motion of its neighbors – and in a smooth flow, the degrees of freedom can be few.”  It was intriguing to apply this principal to the Trio’s forms and to the use of pitches

The recording can be found on Crystal Records


"Brouwer's music is nothing if not eclectic. Her 'Trio'...demonstrates this well, with its piquant combination of dissonance, extended technique (the inside of the piano has a distinctive role to play) and long-limbed, expansive melody that soars above its often complex setting. Ramsey, Sullivan and Wang played with verve and an ear for all the sonic possibilities in this brief but rich score."  - Mark Satola, The Plain Dealer, 2015

"The first movement, 'Joyful Moment', is exactly that, a playful dance featuring many fast unison passages. The use of some extended techniques in the piano (strumming of the instrument’s strings) added additional color. The calm and atmospheric Reverie is followed by the energetic 'Escaping'. Here, nervous-sounding trills are passed between the clarinet and violin above the percussive piano. Blue Streak violinist Tara Lynn Ramsey, clarinetist Drew Sullivan and pianist Shuai Wang effortlessly brought the work to life in a technically solid and musically nuanced performance."  - Mike Telin, Cleveland Classical, 2015