Meaning in the Echoes
for Wind Symphony
(see perusal score below for full instrumentation)
Duration: ca. 11.5'
Meaning in the Echoes begins mysteriously, as a solitary percussionist cries across a desolate landscape. With each unanswered call they begin to lose hope, when suddenly they receive a distant reply from an offstage bass drum. The two exchange in a dialogue, as the first desperately searches for the answering voice among the echoes.
The second movement reveals a number of possible paths. Some are insistent and impossible to ignore, some an annoying distraction, and others turn out to be a complete dead-end. As these routes are explored, abandoned, or completely ignored, a few offer the promise of true potential. We hear the original “call and response” from movement one grow closer and closer...
Just before the third movement, the offstage percussionists have finally found one another. The exploration and resulting discoveries from the second movement are polished and propelled forward. The musical ideas and musicians are united into a cohesive unit to celebrate the new discovery.
Meaning in the Echoes is a musical representation of exploration. The initial inspiration for the work was the act of composing itself. I often view writing as a search for musical ideas that often come forth in raw form. I begin sifting through them, and then decide how best to nurture or use them (if at all).
While the piece certainly speaks to the act of searching, discovery, and celebration in general, it is inseparable from the "real-time" story of the process that created the work itself. The music represents mystery, uncertainty, nagging and useless ideas, mind-numbing repetition, inspiration, excitement, and a number of other elements as the listener almost "observes" the music composing itself.
Photo courtesy of Émile Séguin