Daybook

ENS.2018.7 | 18′
Orchestra

Score

I. North

II. Portal

III. Threshold

IV. Landfall


Daybook

Daybook was suggested by the art and writing of Anne Truitt, but does not depict it. It is instead a kind of orchestral fantasy on themes common to her work and my own. Although Daybook superficially resembles a symphony—four movements including an energetic opening, scherzo, slow movement, and finale—it is more of a symphonic poem, each movement representing an image, a shape, moving from sea to land.

North, for Truitt a subtle blue gnomon, is here a picture of the arctic landscape that has long obsessed me, now transformed by climate change from still eerie wastes to boiling, crunching seas navigable year-round. Portal becomes an abstract journey through cloudy skies, interlocking sixteenth note patterns passing through a dramatic gateway to longer, Lisztian lines.

In the north it can be impossible to tell where sea, sky, and land begin and end. Likewise, persistent, pulsing rhythmic ostinati in Threshold sustain a majestic, gradually unfolding melodic polyphony building to huge romantic climaxes. Finally we reach Landfall. As tiny blurry phrases in solo instruments overlap like waves, the Daybook phrase from the opening transforms into a lontano lebewohl in the horns, the piece growing into a mass of crashing glaciers and calving icebergs as cliffs erupt dramatically from the polar landscape.