Sqwonkzoforus Rex was composed for my bass clarinet duo, Sqwonk, and the piano duo ZOFO. It came about when Sqwonk and ZOFO decided to split a concert program at Old First Church in San Francisco, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to combine the two groups together in a new composition. As I thought about the piece, an image entered my mind of a fantastical piano-two-bass-clarinet beast. I pictured the two bass clarinets coming out of the back of the piano like two heads, or like antennae, or like a scorpion tail. And I pictured this beast lumbering through prehistoric swamps, heaving its body this way and that, snorting and bellowing. And I pictured it suddenly transported to our own time, and trying to fit in, trying and failing to “civilize” itself (with the assistance of a certain famous romantic Russian piano concerto, quoted in the piece). All of these images coalesced into an abstract sonic narrative that became Sqwonkzoforus Rex.