Duration: 8.5 minutes
Solicited by the Norfolk Contemporary Music Workshop for the Gryphon Trio
A visual counterpart to the music of Fractures of Elysium would be to behold paradise in dozens of pieces, with fragments of the view dispersed over several shards of glass. Known traditionally as the abode of the blessed in Greek mythology, the idea of Elysium still manifests itself in humankind's propensity to imagine the idyllic, a time of place of repose from conflict and anguish. Hence, the idea of Elysium broken into several pieces implies a multiplicity of meanings. Is it that the hope for such a place is shattered by a more resolute hopelessness? Or is it that such an obode is intact, and we behold it only through a severely impaired lense, as if "through a glass darkly?"
Musically, the work juxtaposes passages of rhythmic vitality and metric assymetry with an opposing placidity. Proportions are such that moments of chaos continually contract as the calm expands. Only time can tell however, whether chaos can withstand the pressures of tranquility, or vice-versa.
Concert Premiere: July 4, 2003 in Norfolk, CT by the Gryphon Trio.