Quietness - 2004
Premiere: May 29, 2004, Music Gallery, Toronto/Ontario, Blair MacKay, Trevor Tureski - Percussion
In 2003, earShot concerts decided to put on a concert of music for percussion. One notion I had was that the concert would cover a vast array of different percussion instruments. I wanted the audience to feast their ears and eyes on the incredible diversity of the percussion world. This was the initial impetus to compose Quietness.
Quietness employs two families of instruments - metals and woods. Of note is the use of almglocken - tuned cow bells. The nature of the music is inspired by the Rumi poem of same name (translation Coleman Barks). I not only used the poem for emotional purpose, but also directly affecting the form. Each line represents a page of music, and the words are each represented by sounds. The final line represents an extended conclusion for which a tam tam is softly amplified to surround the audience in a wash of metallic ringing, like basking in moonlight.
by Rumi - Translated by Coleman Barks
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick clouds.
Slide out the side.
Die, and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.