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for Orchestra

Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra; Peter Askim, Conductor
Commissioned and premiered by the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra.


Program Notes:

From a great blackness, comes a new hope: struggle gives way to yearning, longing, faith.

And so it begins. Like the great circles which span the globe, tracing an arc from the shadows of the poles to the highest, most brilliant point of the equator, “Meridians” begins in darkness and moves to light. And, like the mysterious pathways along which energy flows in the body, it surges with life, tracing contorted, cascading paths toward redemption.

“Meridians” starts with great upheaval – great dissonant chords juxtaposed against gnarled rising figures and black sonorities. With time, the residue of tragedy and struggle recedes, replaced by an uneasy calm, an inner contemplation that seems at once lost, searching and cautiously optimistic. Pangs of anguish swell up and emerge – coming from below and within, slowly yielding to a prayerful, uneasy stillness. The struggle still echoes in our hearts and ears.
This yearning for peace – floating, suspended, drifting – is carried forward by inevitable momentum: twisted, twisting, spiraling. The winding way surges, somehow alive with possibility. A stream emerges, carried forward beyond its own will. Seen from a distance it has its own inevitable logic.
Like the sun at its highest point, “Meridians” rises to a burnished brilliance, its figures circling, spiraling and doubling back on themselves, tracing great arcs of energy, radiance and light.