Sky Macklay

Photo by Ferrante Ferranti

1 3 2 3 (2021)

PRIMAVERA II the rabbits

from the composer

1 3 2 3 is built upon the medieval concept of rhythmic modes. To me, the most striking connection between Botticelli’s Primavera and Charline von Heyl’s reimagining is that the figures in both paintings are clumped into groups of one, three, two, and three. I translated this satisfying numerical pattern into a repeating rhythmic cycle. This cycle appears in different guises, representing the characters through various modes, tempi, and textures. The characters sometimes break free from the cycle in spontaneous or transformational ways.


Sky Macklay (b. 1988) is a composer, oboist, and installation artist based in Chicago, and she is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. Sky’s music is conceptual yet expressive, exploring extreme contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. She has been commissioned by Chamber Music America (with Splinter Reeds), the Fromm Foundation (with Dal Niente), the Jerome Fund (with Ryan Muncy), the Barlow Endowment (with andPlay), and the LA Philharmonic, and her work has been recognized with awards and fellowships from ASCAP, the International Alliance for Women in Music, and Civitella Ranieri. Her recent projects include an opera set in a uterus and three installations of harmonica-playing inflatable sculptures. Sky completed her D.M.A. at Columbia University and her music is published by C. F. Peters.