Secret Sky: a hundred veils to fall, orchestra

This project is inspired by the island community of Beaver Island, Michigan.  Robert Nordling and the Beaver Island Cultural Arts Center commissioned me to compose this piece as a part of the 2017 Baroque on Beaver Festival.  Having written for primarily chamber ensemble, this opportunity is beyond exciting for me!  Additionally, Robert is a friend, and like most of my creative endeavors, collaboration is critical.  His input has been integral to my process.

Beaver Island is an extremely ecologically diverse area.  As a consequence, there are a plethora of bird species inhabiting the island.  In tracking the bird patterns around the island, moving from the north end to the east side, around to the west side and back up the central, I discovered several sonic patterns (based on the bird calls themselves as well as and migration paths).  img_3380

I began the planning stages of this piece at the MacDowell Colony in August 2016.  The piece will premiere August 6, 2017 under the direction of Robert Nordling and the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra.

Rumi’s words anchor the piece: “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

Duration: approximately 8 minutes

Orchestration: 2222-2211, 2 perc, strings (minimum: 5, 4, 4, 4, 2)

Percussion details: vibraphone, wood block, temple blocks, suspended cymbal, timpani.

Wind Band Instrumentation: 4464-4422, 4 percussionists, string quartet plus 2 double bass.
Percussion details: Timpani, wood blocks (one large and one small), temple blocks (five high to low), suspended cymbal and vibraphone, 2 marimbas (one 4.3 and one 5 octave).