June 1994 Present Music
Kevin Stalheim, conductor
Istanbul Modern Music Festival
fl., cl., trpt., synth., vln., vlc.
Commissioned by Present Music with additional funding from the Tennessee Arts Council. In 1993 I wrote an orchestra piece titled Domes. Domes is important in the development of my music as with it I started to use more spiritual elements. It is built on a wash of very high string sounds slowly descending, again and again. It is religious in an abstract way--spiritual and perpetually longing. I was thinking about the shapes of domes in Rome and Istanbul. Since its premiere various arrangements have been performed by chamber orchestras and ensembles. After Domes, I wanted to compose a similar work written originally for a chamber group. With the encouragement of Kevin Stalheim, director of Present Music, came Arches. Most that I mentioned about Domes also describes Arches. It is built on a wash of string sounds and it is very spiritual. The descending high string sounds in Domes is transformed in Arches to be a perpetually descending four note figure in the middle register. The string sounds are enhanced by the synthesizer, which is the backbone of the ensemble. Trumpet has a very important role with its “Miles” mute.