Visible Reminder of Invisible Light
for piano trio(2011)
|Premiere||July 16, 2013; LONGLEASH. Center for New Music, San Francisco, CA|
During my visits to Italy, I was struck by the meridian lines in two churches: Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome and the San Petronio Basilica in Bologna. Along these meridian lines, the date of the calendar is traced by the light of the sun. Back home in California, I started to notice flowers lit by sunlight from behind, like a spotlight through a lantern. These happy moments, almost epiphanic, when a ray of sunlight specifically lights a flower that happens to be blooming and I happen to be nearby and observing this effect, I call “secret meridians.” Two poems that I like, Ed è subito sera by Salvatore Quasimodo and Choruses from The Rock by T.S. Eliot evoke the beauty and the ontological questions of life that observing such delicate ephemera instills. The title of this piece is borrowed from a line in the T.S. Eliot poem.
In writing this piece, I tried to somehow transcribe into music something of what I feel from my experiences with “secret meridians.” Resonance is an important aspect of this piece in terms of being a musical, sonic entity that is in time and which requires time to be observed. It is phenomenological. The liminal spaces between silence and sound and between noise and harmony are also important to me and feature prominently in this piece.