A stumpery is a type of garden which features the upturned roots of dead trees. The roots of a tree are very beautiful and intricate, sometimes even more than the rest of the tree; but, this is completely invisible for most living trees. In this piece, players tangle around one another like the roots of a tree. The space left by the tendrils is emphasized by reverberations, similar to the sustain pedal of a piano. Independent lines branch out from one another and grow back together. The outer shape of the root persists while the individual strands weave into and around one another.
The premiere of Stumpery was given by Alterity Wind Quintet. An alternate version which substitutes soprano saxophone for the oboe part will be premiered by the University of North Alabama Contemporary Music Ensemble in November 2017. The saxophone part is available on request.