Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

Intimations of Earlier Heaven
Medford Series
2006; 24:40 min.


Intimations is in two parts (11:40; 13:00). It owes its name to the Chinese notion of a chasm between "earlier" and "later" Heaven in human life. Earlier Heaven is the place humans inhabit from conception [or even before] in their mother's womb. Being given a name puts the newborn on the path to Later Heaven. This path is one of increasing estrangement from one's true origin and destiny, something that is both inevitable and, in the end, revocable. Through reflection on life, each individual is given the opportunity to return, as it were, to Earlier Heaven.

More personally, the piece reflects my personal journey over the course of the last two years, articulated by sounds crafted and refined as if they were objects of meditation. Exquisite attention was paid to the shifts of mood and large-scale "atmosphere" the sounds give rise to in the audience modeled by the composer.

While contrapuntal in terms of the interaction of different parametrical lines (such as volume, location, and distance), the composition's melic energy is ultimately subordinated to pure tone color trajectories. Percussive signals serve as recurring motives. Syntactic textures function as tools creating fields of color.

The piece is dedicated to Adyashanti whose worldly and wise presence in a beautiful venue on the Hudson River, NY., confirmed developmental shifts long in the making in me.