The Silence of Thousands – new song cycles and hip modern chamber music

The name of the next Hourglass Ensemble tour comes from the title of my newest commission, the song cycle for mezzo soprano and chamber group.  I was at a barbecue early this year and heard a true story from a cruise ship entertainer – that a man leapt overboard in the middle of the ocean, in the nighttime.  An extraordinary situation followed – the boat was turned around, all noise was stopped, from engines to music to conversation, and any willing passengers were asked to step up to the railings and observe for signs of the passenger.

The end of the the real story was that the man WAS FOUND!  Apparently he told someone that the moment he jumped, he changed his mind.  What fascinated me about the story was two-fold – why we act so rashly when we are in two minds, and what it might feel like, not just sound-wise, to have thousands of people silently straining their sense in the coldness of an ocean.

The music is at times vigorous, like the smashing of a ship on waves.  It also references the entertainment on board the cruise, before turning to floating introspection – a view back up through green water to the yellow moon, living in the land of dolphins and mermen.

This concert will also be a bit of a dream come true for some of us, for Ewa playing Carl Vine’s flute sonata (although she did perform it three times in Poland), and for me finally getting to do Michael Torke’s very groovy “Telephone Book” – check it out on YouTube!



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