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wherever you go, there you are

for 31-piece chamber orchestra with offstage players

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North America (Canada - USA)
Estimated Duration
6 - 10min

ISMN : 979-0-2325-6512-5

Notes on this piece
Commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Program Notes: 

"I believe that home is the human will to search for that to which we can never really return. It is an idealized remembrance, unnoticeably decaying into the anxious depression of nostalgia, an intangible specter which is the eventual destination of all happy moments. It is the bittersweet recollection of contentment, always sought yet unfulfilled, which

motivates us to maintain an identity and purpose in the face of instability and meaninglessness. Though we may lose our homes again and again- to cruelty or chance or time- we will never stop trying to find home, to create one wherever we go. Yet we seem to become truly aware of home by leaving it; when we are without home, we realize the quiet thrum it leaves behind, our silent, subconscious music.

I have attempted to represent these thoughts here through a musical character made up of a series of discrete and ordered gestures which venture in and out of the familiar and the strange: a string outburst, the thundersheet, an offstage melodic fragment, a chord of microtonal harmonics, and a more muted outburst of air from the winds. Because of the static nature of these diverse timbral ideas, the piece became, in essence, a Rondo. Each development section, inherently unstable and searching- attempts to travel increasingly farther away from the home material, while still retaining source elements (such as the four-note motif G-A-Ab-Bb, glissandi, harmonics, etc.). When the home section

returns, often signaled by those eerily distant melodic fragments from the offstage string quartet (almost reminiscent of ancient music), it is always changed and reordered, but fundamentally the same cellular material.

This piece is as much about elision as it is separation; for whenever the character is at rest, it is searching for a journey away, but whenever it is in the midst of that journey, it is longing for home. After the material has stretched itself to its furthest distance, it finally returns to its basic form, metamorphosed but still fundamentally unsatisfied and questioning.

-Maya Miro Johnson

September 27th, 2018"

Chamber Orchestra
Recorded live by the SPCO with Tito Muñoz
Score Details
Format - A3 / Tabloid
Pages - 36

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