Duration: 7 minutes (grade 4)
Sleep now, O sleep now, O you unquiet heart!
A voice crying “Sleep now” Is heard in my heart.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do-- All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
--Robert Louis Stevenson
Save me from curious Conscience, that still lords Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole; Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed Casket of my Soul.
No experience adequately prepares one for the late night rituals of parenthood: the cry in the dark that seizes one from the depths of exhaustion; the lumbering footsteps that make their way cradle-side beneath the dull glow of the moon; tranquility split asunder by the anxiety-inducing cough, fevered skin, and undisclosed aches and tremors. Perhaps we are summoned by no more than the desperate, terrified pining of a tiny soul at once confronting their utter isolation in the profundity of night. In these moments, there are quiet words: stories rendered stream-of-consciously, simple songs, memories from the day, promises for the morning. Miracles transpire that are known only to those awake in these sacred, silent hours. To lull a child to sleep is to witness the crossing of a threshold--the abandonment of determined, grasping, fear as it acquiesces to surrender and to dreams.
Drifting From Midnight is a sonic exploration of that moment when thresholds are crossed; when anxious wakefulness surrenders to peaceful slumber and the transcendent glories of worlds and horizons known only to dreamers.
Concert Premiere: March 5, 2015 by Dr. John Zarco and the UT-San Antonio Symphonic Band