Le jardin des ombres

Instrumentation: oboe, clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, horn, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass

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Performance History: This work premiered on May 30th, 2019 at the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, New York, by members of the Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller, dir., during the First Draughts Reading Session of the 2019 American Music Festival. The second performance (audio example) was on June 18th, 2021 at the University at Buffalo by the Slee Sinfonietta, Daniel Brottman, conductor, during the 2021 June in Buffalo new music festival.

Program Note: I have always enjoyed walking through and discovering wooded areas, particularly in late spring and early summer when nature is in full bloom. The temperature is not too warm and windy days produce vivid and expressive shades of color in the skies and trees above, where the mixture of wind and clouds create dancing shadows that move quickly among the trees and earth. There are often stark contrasts between light and dark shifts of color; browns and blues mix with yellows and greens, and the more pastel colors of flowers dot the landscape to produce fiery and vivid highlights. These areas at this time of year seem to tell a story with their quiet and often gentle beauty, as if there is a mystery or even a long-buried tumult that is hinted at below the surface. Sometimes these woods seem to be starting a new tale, or suggesting an older one that will continue until the advent of the next spring.