Instrumentation: Piano and Fixed Audio
Commissioned by Megumi Masaki
Premiere: The Windsor Festival of Canadian Music, February 11, 2012
Orpheus Drones is my lament for the mythical Greek oracle and musician. The Latin text that is woven through the piece is from Ovid’s description of the death of Orpheus. After his enemies fail to kill him with sticks and stones, Orpheus is torn to pieces. But all is not lost. His soul ends up in the underworld, where he can finally be reunited with his wife Eurydice. The combination of live piano, sampled sounds and electronics allows for the creation of a musical world that blends together beauty and ugliness. The musical ideas flow by at different rates. Some are anchored by extended drone notes, some run by quickly to form parabolic arches and others are condensed into short intense harmonic progressions.