Genius Loci (2009)
Duration: 10:30 min
Orchestration: 2,2,2,2-2,2,0,0-1perc,pno,strings (minimum 6,6,4,4,2)
Percussion details: Vibraphone, bass drum, suspended cymbal, 2 handbells – 1 player
Premiere: East Carolina University Symphony Orchestra, February 28, 2010; Greenville, NC
Jorge Richter, conductor
Program Notes: “Genius Loci,” from the Latin “spirit of place,” refers to the unique atmosphere of a place. Composers, writers and artists throughout history have been inspired by place. Their works are not about the representation of a place but rather the distinctive residue that inspires expression. It is in this sense that Genius Loci – Spirit of Place is my own exploration of the meaning of “place.” The spirit of place is in itself organic to music. As a time-based art, it is the essence, the residue, of the opening that emanates throughout a composition as “place,” as a marker, if you will, for the composer and listener alike. When we talk about music, this place is often referred to as home, sense of place. We talk about the home key, for example, and the journey away from that place and an eventual return home. Similarly, Genius Loci-Spirit of Place, emanates from its opening gesture. What follows, grows organically out of the spirit of that place and informs the remainder of the work. Throughout the piece, the properties of “place” are transformed, developed, internalized, and re-examined. The underlying current that flows throughout the entire composition, however, is the spirit of place.