Trio for Harp, Piano, and Celesta

31 min.





Strings, plucked

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Program Notes
When I first heard the phrase "Mein junges leben hat ein end", it wasn't in the liturgical context but rather the third movement from Luciano Berio's Sinfonia. I read it not as the short life of a damned waiting for Christ, but as a reflection, as a realization our youth has left us behind, when we were distracted. This happened for me at some point in this piece, over the four years it took to write, in speeding cars, a parking lot of a Renaissance Fair, underneath trees in Michigan and Kentucky, near wayang musicians rehearsing in Java, in an abandoned food court of a mall at 4am on Black Friday, in empty guest rooms with your love and a cold floor, in a crowded hallway designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and then, in silent rain late at night after a rehearsal where one of the most powerful performers you know looks up from the celesta in the silence and says the two words "...that's bleak". It was gone by that point, but good god, how richly its juices dripped and stained the lips and summer hands. Trio is written in one movement, but organized in three sets of three sections: I. Chorales II. Pulses III. Canons IV. Chorales V. Solos x Canons VI. Echoes VI. Canons VII. Solo x Chorales VIII. Echoes Trio marked the last piece I would complete for many years, and still casts a shadow at unexpected times. It is dedicated to Dr. John Boyle, who introduced me to Sinfonia one humid afternoon in 2006, to the wonder of the unexpected, always upon us. Thank you, DB.
Recording Notes
Featuring Bethany Wheeler (Harp), Daniel Walden (Piano), and Eugene Kim (Celesta). Recorded live at Kulas Hall, Oberlin Conservatory, April 23, 2011.