ARCTIC DREAMS 1 for flute, vibraphone, obligato child soprano and digital audio playback. 2002. 9 minutes.
ARCTIC DREAMS 4 for trumpet or flugelhorn, obligato child soprano and digital audio playback. 2002. 9 minutes.

Score, parts and CD (with the digital audio playback material) available though PROMETHEAN EDITIONS.


Arctic Dreams 1 is a palimpsest: a work composed on top of a pre-existing work. The original source is Voices of the Land, the third movement of Footprints In New Snow, a radio documentary/composition about the Inuit and their culture which CBC Radio producer Keith Horner and I created in 1995 with the support from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Ontario Arts Council. Voices of the Land employs the same audio as the present work with the addition of the haunting voice of Winston White, an Inuit Elder and broadcaster from Nunavut, in the foreground speaking about the north and its inhabitants. During one of the mixing sessions of Footprints at the Toronto CBC Broadcast Centre, I asked the engineers if they could also make a separate mix of the Voices of the Land without the speaking voice. They did, and this was the starting point for the present work.

It was my intention all along that this separate mix would become the audio part of a completely different composition. The opportunity did not present itself until seven years later when my wife Beverley Johnston and flutist Susan Hoeppner asked me for a work for the two of them to perform as a duo. They were engaged to perform at the Collaborations series, a multi-arts series in Toronto. When Valerie Kuinka, the Artistic Director of Collaborations, visited us with Lauren Margison, her (and tenor Richard Margisonís) seven-year-old daughter, at our home in mid April 2002 to listen to possible works for that program, I played among other things, the remixed tape from Voices of the Land. Val decided that she wanted to make this the centrepiece of her concert which was to take place a couple of weeks later. Arctic Dreams (1) came into being in three short days in mid April 2002 and included an obligato singing part for Lauren and Bev. It was premiered on April 26 at the Collaborations concert at Isabel Baden Theatre in Toronto. The (1) right next to the title simply means that I havenít finished exploring the possibilities of this New Age-like work yet. Stay tuned for more.

Premiere performance: April 26 2002. Susan Hoeppner, flute; Beverley Johnston, vibraphone. Collaborations; Isabel Baden Theatre, Toronto.

Reviews and Comments:

Like the other music in this remarkable series of pieces, Arctic Dreams invokes the North without obvious references to the howling of the wind. The dominant feeling is one of wonder rather than struggle to survive under extreme conditions. Hatzis provides an emotional metaphor for the human on edge of outer space. Stephen Pedersen, THE CHRONICLE-HERALD (Canada) June 6, 2007.



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