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Compass Kaleidoscope was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Quintet (Penn State Faculty members) in celebration of their 30 Year Anniversary. It is based on a theme related to Pennsylvania: Amish quilts. Pennsylvania is noted for its longtime quilt making arts, a tradition started in the early 1800's by Amish and Mennonite women in Lancaster county. Each of the five movements of the quintet is inspired by a different traditional quilt pattern chosen by a member of the quintet. The musical materials were derived from the geometric shapes, color palette, arrangement of blocks, the name of the design and traditional folk melodies. Some of the compositional ideas were informed by the composer's synesthesia where particular pitches are associated with colors.