In the Shimmer of Shining Hues takes its inspiration from Luxe, calme et volupté, the most significant painting by Henri Matisse, in which the divisionist technique is used in the selection and treatment of colours. Warm, vibrant and contrasting colours convey powerful emotions, as they shimmer and shine above the two-dimensional surface of the canvas, and leave the impression that they are constantly changing. Matisse takes the title of this painting from L’Invitation au voyage, a poem by Charles Baudelaire. The performers will be singing, and reciting a short excerpt from this poem:
In a shining shade of light,
Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté
Somewhere and Somewhen
I began composing Somewhere and Somewhen while in Port Renfrew, on Vancouver Island’s west coast. One issue – among many – that I was concerned with while writing this piece was trying to create a musical space that was somehow architectural. To my mind, works of art that create an architectural experience achieve a kind of gracious hospitality. We are invited in. Asked to linger, daydream, and explore. I hope that you feel at home in this music, that you enjoy wandering its corridors and rooms…
In five movements:
#1. port renfrew (may 20, 2012)
#3. dusk. overlooking the gorge.
#5. two things
Spinnaker is what happens when you attach a sail to the front of an airplane and turn off the engines. The physics may not be in my favour, but in my head, it works, and it’s a peaceful thing.
Foreign Lands was, at the time, an exploration of unfamiliar ground for me. I used an octatonic scale to compose numerous melodic cells for the performers to choose amongst. Which cells to play, and exactly when to play them, are up to the musicians to choose in the moment. This ensures that the results are somewhat unpredictable and that each performance of the work is unique.