Internationally recognized as an insightful and versatile musician, American conductor Arthur Post was Music Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra from 2010 to 2017. He studied at Yale [...]
They spoke about it
Wonderful and evocative.
— Classic 107
Jordan Pal writes colourful, tuneful and invariably entertaining tonal music that is immediately accessible to a general audience.
— Ludwig van Toronto
Online videos of flocking starlings, performing breathtaking, whirling aerial displays as they prepare to roost for the winter season, have gone viral. This phenomenon, known as murmuration, is nature in its most fleetingly beautiful and instinctively synchronous form, displaying processes that are poised at the moment of change, to be spontaneously and almost entirely transformed. Not unlike the collective unconscious of a great orchestra breathing together as one, the celestial congregation of starlings and other phenomena are clear testaments to the natural world’s capacity to re-inspire.
Amidst the emergent environmental crisis, it might appear that very little energy is spent on conveying to the public the visceral beauty of our ever-changing, ever-renewing natural world. By suggesting through the comparable power of music – and without programmatic depictions – nature’s awe-inspiring capabilities, my hope is to inspire a greater appreciation of our environment. This is not an original theme: the suggestion and subtlety of Debussy’s La Mer, Sibelius’ adoration of the Finnish landscape in musically embodying the moods of nature and the ever-changing seasons,
and Messiaen’s timeless tribute to the infinite creativity, ingenuity, and vitality of the natural world, as examples. After all, music is possibly the only human endeavor that has the potential to match nature’s evanescent splendor. Starling seeks to capture in musical form the same boundless, breathless, fleeting and visceral qualities indicative of nature. Evocative and startling colours, characters and textures inspire a work that uncovers a deeply intuitive and mystical relationship to nature through sound. Musical techniques, such as aleatoric devices, spontaneous content-driven forms, and the soloists’ dynamic interactions with each other and the orchestra, assist in suggesting the intuitively ever-changing, non-linear processes of nature.
INTO THE WONDER
As twilight unveils the faint glimmer of distant stars, a child is born. His mother’s heart swells, her breath suspended, joy coalesces with pain. 7,000 light years away, vast stellar nurseries – the remnants of once great celestial giants – are churning gas and dust into new beginnings. Sunrise nears and a hollowed tree, its trunk collapsing under its own weight, returns to the earth. An elderly man takes his last breath. The burgeoning world envelops him. Spanning three movements, Into the Wonder celebrates the creative will of our universe. Evoking birth and death, creation and destruction, universal interconnectedness and the rapture of love, this piece seeks to capture the mystery, awe and wonder of life. Nature’s own great works of art are reminders that we are a part of this magnificent range of possibilities, that we are part of something much greater. This symphony celebrates all that is beautiful.
© Jordan Pal