I began the work FINALE during my residency at Stanford University in 2009. On a visit to the Pacific Ocean, I had a dream, after one of my conversations with the conductor Jin Dong Cai. In the dream, Jin Dong and I are sitting at a safe distance as the last orchestra of the Western World slips off into the Pacific during one of California’s cataclysmic earthquakes. As the orchestra struggles in the water – resisting slipping into oblivion, it begins to fight (even drowning, they still cannot get along). Its old issues of the individual against the mass surface one last time in the form of the promptings of an errant solo cellist. The orchestra reveals itself in the form of a catalog of orchestral tutti’s (Part I, Awakening), often under water. They are awakened to battle by the solo cellist. As the tutti’s from the classical repertoire are announced they move chronologically through history, and become more and more animated. In Part II (Battle) the soloist confronts the mocking orchestra with modernist tutti’s that are no longer worthy of being quoted. The last worthy quote being Liszt, a few early modernist tutti’s do slip by however. Then in Part III (Accord) the tutti’s start to go backwards and return to the classical tutti’s, and at last there is a beginning of a rapport in which they will actually attempt to solve the problem of getting along. (Rig Veda: “May we walk together, speak together, may the assembly be common.” Utopian Moment.) As we look out across the Pacific one last time we see that China has been watching this little drama, and in the last bar when they finally play together, China decides to rescue the orchestra. Jin Dong Cai laughs “Ho Ho Ho,” and I awake from the dream.