Asphodel (2014) 12'

For orchestra. 2(II=picc), 2(II=Ehn), 1+Bcl, 2(II=Cbn) - 4, 3, 2+bass, 1 - timp, 3 perc, hp, cel, str

Premiered 1/29/16 by the Minnesota Orchestra. Self-published (Morningside Press, ASCAP).

Asphodel takes its name from a Mediterranean flower. Though it blooms near the sea to this day, the asphodel is most famous for its symbolic role in Homer’s Odyssey: Homer tells us that the asphodel covers the meadows of the afterlife. My piece peripherally ponders the ancients’ notion of afterlife by responding to three of the Golden Verses of Pythagoras, moral edicts meant to guide mortals toward godhood. The first section of Asphodel is titled “it is ordained by destiny;” the full phrase in Pythagoras reads, “It is ordained by destiny that all men shall die.” The second section is titled “support your lot with patience,” a phrase Pythagoras intends as an edict not to complain about misfortune. The final section, “the nature of this universe is in all things alike,” reflects upon Pythagoras' declamation of a deep knowledge of the spiritual mysteries of the world.

 

Listen:

A field of asphodels

A field of asphodels

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