Cry - 2007
(**3*3*3*3 / 4331 / T / 2 perc / Hrp / Strings) * includes Bass Flute
Composed for L'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne
Premiere: July 28, 2007, National Arts Centre, Ottawa/Ontario, L'Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne, Jean-Philippe Tremblay - Conductor
(note from premiere)
I am greatly fortunate to have two young children. Babies, it would seem, not only learn a great deal in their first year of life, but also offer much knowledge of human nature for adults to learn from. Both Alexander and Nicholas have taught me the meaning of the human cry. It is honest, it is powerful, and is perhaps the most immediate form of communication we have, as we are born with innate knowledge of its syntax. As a parent, I am unable to ignore its powerful message of longing and loneliness.
For help in translation between ideas and sound, I went to the dictionary to help give me order to this complex word.
So, from the Canadian Oxford English Dictionary:
1. make a loud or shrill sound, esp. to express pain grief, etc., or to appeal for help.
2. shed tears; weep.
3. say or exclaim loudly or excitedly.
These are the three concepts behind Cry that underline its structure and thematic material. The work begins with a "loud and shrill sound", as the woodwind section plays an expansive melody in unison. The second theme, the weep, enters once again in the woodwind section, but now with solo Bass Flute, probably the softest and most delicate of all the orchestral instruments. I chose this instrument for its lonely, mournful quality. The third theme, "to say or exclaim loudly", is more of a structural focus, and occurs about 10 minutes into the work. It is marked by the brazen, resounding sound of brass and percussion. The percussion here is dominated by woods - xylophone, temple blocks and log drums, chosen for both their sonic blending, and earthy presence. The final theme, which occurs fully revealed at the end of the work, is performed by solo cello accompanied by the string section. It is a cry of grief - the cry which for me is the most intimately powerful. This theme was the first part composed, and serves as a basis to all of the other previous material.