Commissioned by the Dublin Wind Symphony, Dublin, OH
When thinking about the concept behind this piece, I knew I wanted to celebrate the purpose of music. Music is something we hear that connects us with that which cannot be heard. In a sense, we learn to “see” the invisible with our ears. I think this is what William Blake touched upon in the opening of his poem, Auguries of Innocence:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
Every work of art invites us to “see a World in a Grain of Sand” and every piece of music allows us to experience “Eternity in an hour”. Music is a grain of sand through which we can see an entire world. In other words, it is a smaller reality that helps us grasp a larger reality.
Music can display chaos, yet show that order can come from this chaos. Melodies can be sorrowful in a way that gives permission to the listener to feel sorrow. Music can come alongside people and weep with them or take someone by the hand and carry him into a place of peace. Musical themes can connect someone with Joy, even when she has no joy inside herself. Ultimately, music has the power to connect people with a reality outside of themselves and allows them to experience Eternity in an hour.
Eternity in an Hour highlights many individuals and requires a great amount of attentiveness between the musicians. I require each section of the ensemble to pull equal weight as they intricately interact with each other throughout the three movements. By the end of the piece, we should have seen a glimpse of Heaven through the many “Wildflowers” or various timbres of the ensemble.
Excerpt from the premiere performance:
From the Dublin Wind Symphony's 5th Year Anniversary Concert CD