for violin and 5-octave marimba. 2017. Duration 3:30. Score & parts available through PROMETHEAN EDITIONS.

Night Sky for violin and marimba was composed around the time of the total eclipse in August 2017 for violinist Marc Djokic and percussionist Beverley Johnston for the concert they planned to share together in May 2018. It was a belated gift for Bev’s 60th birthday. During the time of its composition, I was immersed in reading the book Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, an exhaustive thesis proposing that world mythology has its origins in astronomical observation particularly in the phenomenon of the “precession of the equinoxes.” The two instruments “phase” against each other, one cycling at 12/8 against the other’s 11/8 and completing three full cycles, the harmonic root of each being a major third lower than that of the previous one. (The three roots form an augmented chord. Any transposition of this chord by its embedded interval will create an inverted arrangement of its constituent pitch classes, in other words an exact clone of itself). Within this macrostructure, the music of each cycle vaguely flirts melodically and harmonically with the 1971 pop song “Color My World” by the rock group Chicago, a song which has been solidly embedded in the mythical memory of my generation. The lyrics of the song capture all the words that I would like to share with my life-partner of the past seventeen years on the occasion of her seminal anniversary.

Premiere performance TBA


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