Toward Sky’s End (2010) for Orchestra

Toward Sky’s End (2010)
for Orchestra
Approximate Duration: 5:30
World premiere on on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the Round Rock Independent School District Performing Arts Center by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Mairs.
 

Program Notes

“Toward Sky’s End” was composed as an entry in the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s 1st Annual Young Composers Competition where it was selected as a winning entry. It is the first piece I have written for orchestra.

The composition process began with two motifs. From playing around with those two motifs, in somewhat of an epiphany I came up with a main melody and a detailed plan of how the entire piece would play out. I made it a goal to try to write something that built steadily and had a strong direction from the first note to the last. In writing, I wanted to combine emotion and lyricism with moderately fast tempos and exciting moments to try to create something that was captivating and broadly appealing. I completed the piece on October 31, 2010 (at 3:21 AM) with a result exactly as I had imaged it from the beginning.

Once I began the editing process, I realized that I had no title for the piece. People told me to think about what I saw in my mind while I was writing and to title the piece about that, but what I told them was that I saw nothing – the only thing in my mind while I wrote was sounds, not images. If I was going to take that route in titling though, I would have to ask others what they imagined when they heard the piece. I tried it, and strangely, almost unanimously people imagined “soaring through the sky”. Though slow to embrace that idea, with help I titled the piece “Toward Sky’s End” – a title that combined both the recurring image of flying with the sense of direction that I wanted to portray in the writing.

“Toward Sky’s End” is was premiered on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the Round Rock Independent School District Performing Arts Center by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Mairs. Since it’s premier, it has been performed numerous times by the  ASO and was first publicly performed at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on April 20, 2011 under the direction of Maestro Peter Bay.

An video excerpt of the Austin Symphony rehearsing the piece can be heard below:

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