'world without end' (2014) 11.5'

For double wind quintet, two trombones, percussion, harp, and double bass. 

Premiered on New Music New Haven in Sprague Hall, 4/17/14. Self-published (Morningside Press, ASCAP).

At the core of 'world without end' lies a melody, a single musical line whose cells and contour were loosely inspired by two source materials: the O Vis Aeternitatis responsorium by Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), and, primarily, the Gloria Patri from an In Festo Sanctissimae Trinitatis by Étienne de Liège (c. 850 – 920). While this work’s resulting melody reflects in some ways the spiritual gracefulness of its ecclesiastical forebears, it also strives, struggles, and fails—it labors towards some kind of transcendence but frequently flounders and falters, entangled by its imperfections. For me, this piece has become an analogy for the deeply human struggle to come to terms with the concept of eternity. Can we, both eccentric and ephemeral in the colossal scope of the cosmos, look past our limitations to contemplate in saecula saeculorum—the ages of ages, the world without end? More immediately, this piece is also meant as an elegy and eulogy for a friend and brother.

 

Listen:

The nave at Salisbury Cathedral

The nave at Salisbury Cathedral

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