this is the garden

Full Score: PDF
Audio: this is the garden

Instrumentation: 2(2: dbl Picc.)222 2200 Timp+1 Str
Duration: 9:00
Year of Completion: 2010
Program Notes

This piece is about growth. The title and inspiration come from the E.E. Cummings poem whose first line reads: this is the garden: colours come and go. Cummings writes of an ethereal landscape with invisible faces and the slow march of time. Colors and musical sounds are described in surreal fashion in the poem, and while the music does not exactly mimic the text, the listener will experience many instrumental color shifts in the orchestra. The piece grows from a single pitch that opens the work and evolves into a recurring melody first heard in the piccolo. A four-note motive is also seeded throughout, acting as fertile ground for the rest of the piece. This motive is (intentionally) not always aurally obvious, but it is finally played unaltered by the full orchestra near the climax of the piece. The second half of the piece contrasts with the bleak opening, with a vibrant display of life and colors in full bloom - a celebration of Cummings's frail azures, silent greens, and cool flutes within wide glooms.