dedicated to my dear friends Lina and Matt
Premiere performance – Lina Bahn ~ violin, Matt Haimovitz ~ cello, Steve Antosca ~ computer
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC October 22, 2017
As a young man I spent many years in Alaska paddling the water ways of the Prince William Sound – “the Sound” as it was known. Its immensity, its near pre-historic vistas, natural abundance, and immeasurable richness in every manner, humbled the senses and charged the human spirit. Whether paddling the ocean alongside orcas or discovering the ancient sun-bleached remains of a washed-up orca skeleton, from primordial ocean depths to the heavens ignited by Northern lights whose fires danced in the skies, the Sound gave bountifully from all winds of the compass rose. The Sound contains its own vocabulary of nature’s voices. Bald eagles screech while performing pirouettes across the sky, talons locked together in an ancient mating ritual. Antiphonal night songs of humpback whales drift across calm waters. The distant vocalise of Ursus arctos horribilis blends with the chattering of nearby shore birds. I often asked my companions: "Will you recognize the Prince William Sound when you hear it?”
theSound ~ sea beyond the stars was commissioned by Lina Bahn and Matt Haimovitz. It is a personal reflection of a distant time spent living on the Prince William Sound in Alaska.
SCORE – click on the score image to download a PDF of the score