From the Realm of Morpheus

ENS.2009.3 | 35′
2 Piccolos/Alto Flutes, 2 Oboes/Cor Anglais, Percussion, Piano, String Quintet


1. The Tale of the City in the Sea

2. The Tale of a Voyage to the Moon

At the climax of From the Realm of Morpheus, Steven Millhauser’s wonderful and sadly out-of-print romantic fantasia, the extraordinary character of Morpheus takes the narrator on two strange journeys, first under the sea to the city of Atlantis and then to the moon. Although this work does not depict these voyages per se, I started with two words, “glittering” and “crepuscular”, and went from there.

Originally composed in 2009 for an unusual ensemble, I rewrote it several years later for a more homogenous and richer group of eleven players, including four high winds, piano and percussion, and string quintet. It was my intention to create an extremely colorful and energetic work, and neither movement ever slows down or lets up, only continuous textural changes providing respite for the ear.

The work is symmetrical and mosaic-like, various tiny musical ideas appearing in various guises throughout. Both movements use the same formal ingredients, though moving at different rates: in one movement the harmonies move slower than the themes, while in the other the themes change more rapidly while the harmonies relax.

From the Realm of Morpheus lasts more than half-an-hour, and may be joined with In the Realms of the Unreal to form The Realms.