Campo Santo

ENS.2019.1 | 18′
3 Trumpets, Timpani, Piano, String Orchestra


I. Sur le rocher de l’île de Sainte-Hélène

II. Campo Santo

III. The Alps in the Sea

IV. La cour de l’ancienne école

Campo Santo

Campo Santo forms a kind of companion or loose sequel to its predecessor, Daybook. Like Daybook, it begins with a great artist—artist Anne Truitt in the former, author W. G. Sebald in the latter—and seeks a kind of accommodation with their work. Not in the sense of musical counterpart nor illustration, however; more an engagement with similar themes. Both compositions, too, resemble a classical symphony, with four movements including a dramatic opening, scherzo, slow movement, and finale, yet do not develop material in any recognizably symphonic fashion.

Instead, as with Daybook, Campo Santo explores the different kinds of music that can be made from the hidden systems, cycles, and processes underlying most of my work. The opening and closing movements tease out the cinematic possibilities of these structures, acknowledging an equal debt to Michael Nyman and John Williams, masters both. The inner movements are more explicit homages: the second dedicated to David Lang, and the third to Lou Harrison and Alan Hovhaness.