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Echos des Himmel - Echoes of Heaven
Medford Series
2001; 23.58 min.


Trilogy started a new period of my electronic music composition . In this period, sonic qualities become the focus of attention while syntax functions are used as a mere tool or "sound teaser". Simultaneously with a new mastering of techniques emerged the need for more "color" that a decade later led me to take up painting and visual music.

The piece is conceived in the spirit of a symphonic work in three movements [5:07; 13:21; 5:30]. It is based on variations of recurring themes derived algorithmically and treated contrapuntally. All the way through, harmonic flow supports the long breath of melic energy. Orchestration no longer mainly clarifies syntactic structure (as in much of my earlier music), but acquires a value of its own.

The work spans the range from epic (I, Erwachen) to dramatic (II, Echo des Himmels), to lyrical (III, Ganymed ), with an ingredient Mahler might have called "maechtig" (mighty). Tempestuous passages stand next to those of lament. As tempest, Trilogy is dedicated to the form of my emotional life, while as lament, it honors my German and American teachers in music, poetry, and philosophy: Konrad Lechner, Avram David (Alan Kemler), Harold Bond, and Theodor W. Adorno.

All three compositions united in Trilogy take their semantic cue from the German poet Hölderlin. Erwachen (Awakening) is a beginning, slow as my own artistic development. Echo des Himmels derives from the first line of Hölderlin's poem Ermunterung (Encouragement):

Echo des Himmels! Heiliges Herz! Warum
Oh warum verstummst du unter den Lebenden
Heavenly echo! Holy Heart why
O why do you fall silent among the living?

As holds for the poem, Echo des Himmels is a celebration that comprises a lament (as dialectical thinking would suggest). In the evolution of the piece, tone color and melic contour are paramount, articulated by rhythm and silence.

The title of the last movement is derived from Hölderlin's poem Ganymed. The poem describes the Greek god Ganymede (meaning "rejoicing in virility") who is carried to Heaven on an eagle's back to become Zeus' boy-lover. He is the cup-bearer for the gods who dispense immortality. Ganymede is seen as taken from, and returned to, Earth, in an awakening that is forever renewed. In Trilogy, Ganymed closes the ring opened by Erwachen, transferring the eternal movement to the piece as a whole.