One of the big reasons why I started working on this piece was to add another large-scale quartet into the rather limited repertoire. The main programmatic element was inspired by a work of fiction centering on a character’s travels from Ireland to America. The biggest focus of the work is leaving a place of comfort, arriving at a place of chaos, then finding comfort in that chaos. I used specific places as reference points to make the narrative feel more ‘real’ to myself and hopefully an audience as well.
1. On Raghtin More: Raghtin More is a mountain in northern Ireland which represents everything that the central figure of the story desires. Simplicity, tranquility, silence. However, in this instance, this perfect setting is merely a dream, which ends up being clouded by images of past inner-turmoil and negative experiences. The movement ends with the main character waking up, realizing he is on a flight to America, where he fears he won’t be able to experience the silence he once felt.
2. In New Jersey: the character finds himself thrust into a startling and completely foreign situation. The sounds of angry car horns and the chaos of rushing people are all new to him, and he has major issues trying to adjust. Coupled with frequent reminders of past memories, the character falls into a downward spiral that can only be terminated through the love and guidance of others.
3. And One With Me: In this movement, the character finds peace within himself, even though he is still confronted by chaos and negative thoughts. This movement is also reminiscent of a love song: either in the context of romantic love, as well as spiritual love and love of the self.
Score and parts included: Clarinet 1-3, Bass Clarinet