The following inscription is found at the head of the score:
Moths are the members of the Family Lepidoptera which are not butterflies. Most moths are nocturnal, navigating through the skies with the aid of the moon and stars, sometimes falling astray of their desired path due to the intrusion of artificial light. The Boötes void, sometimes called The Great Void or The Great Nothing, is a massive, practically barren region of outer space, known to contain 60 galaxies by 1997. Greg Aldering said of the void “If the Milky Way had been in the centre of the Boötes void, we wouldn’t have know there were other galaxies until the 1960’s.” Taking this vacuum further, imagine a dark, black sky. Imagine a landscape of moths, torn from their signals of orientation, forced to swarm and beat against each other in search of home.
Polillas was read by the JACK quartet on Nov 30, 2021 and premiered by the JACK quartet on March 30, 2022 on the campus of the University of Iowa.