The Combine is a piece inspired by Ken Kesey’s realistic fiction novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Within the story, “the Combine” is used as a sort of overarching allegory for the real world, as seen from the perspective of the mentally disturbed main character. Within the piece, each instrument, aside from the piano, fills a sort of role as a loose representation of the characters within the story. The piano, in turn, serves as a sort of tone setter throughout the piece, staying more towards the back of the ensemble. The piece essentially highlights the power struggle between the flute, the instrument attempting to force the ensemble into a strict monotonous groove, and the cello, which attempts to disrupt the strict motion of the piece and turn it on its head metrically, tonally, and colorfully. The Combine is meant to serve less as a direct retelling of Ken Kesey’s story, but more of a quick symbolic reimagining.