In Terra (2016)
Instrumentation: 3333 / 4331 / timp., 3 perc. / harp / pno / strings
Duration: 11 minutes
World Premiere: Commissioned and premiered by Rice University's Shepherd School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Larry Rachleff, conductor, in October 2016 at Carnegie Hall, New York City.
In Terra was commissioned by Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music for the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Larry Rachleff, music director, for the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall concert in the Fall of 2016. It also commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Shepherd School of Music.
The idea of layers of history conjured for me the various epochs and layers within the earth’s crust, and the sometimes slow, sometimes violent changes that take place over time. Thinking of these various rock layers embedded within the earth, the opening is marked “reverberant, subterranean” and the low instruments of the orchestra are featured – hence the name In Terra, meaning in earth. These layers are represented musically by the various motives in the piece, which are stacked upon each other towards the end of the piece. This is an idea I used in subsequent works, Strata and Zones. These three movements together can form a larger symphonic work, though each movement may stand on its own as a single work.