• Translucent Windows. 2012. 12′
Commissioned by the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble.
3 flutes (1 doubling piccolo), 2 clarinets, oboe,
alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, bassoon,
2 French horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, 2 percussionists
The idea of architecture as a metaphor, and certainly a conduit, for psychological
states is something explored in much great literature. The channeling of these
states, for example in Calvino’s Invisible Cities, brings to my mind the idea of a
translucent window: at once a metaphor for the veil or mask, and for the pursuit
toward clarity of something outward, something beyond. Perhaps a more specific
example is that of stained glass, used to illuminate religious allegory and myth.
The work’s first movement is an exploration of murmurs and soft textures,
punctuated with bursts of clear and sparse moments. Its title, Auguries, refers to
an evocation of a cloud through which one can infer shapes and grasp at moments
of clarity. The second movement presents a longer line through many instruments,
accompanied by some of the same textures from the first movement. It’s title,
Divination, suggests a kind of more active searching, as if the lines are imbued
with more momentum and agency.