Archaea (2016) 

*The recording on this page is of an early version of the piece; excerpts from each of its three movements were recorded at the Aspen Music Festival in summer 2016. The piece has been heavily revised and expanded, and a longer version will be premiered by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra in March 2018.*

Archaea is an orchestral work which depicts an imaginary ancient landscape; a city I have cobbled together in my imagination from places with which I have become familiar recently. The three sections of the work show the landscape throughout the day: the first movement depicts the blinding light of the sunrise, and the second the orange glow cast over the city buildings in the evening, ending with the final glimmer of light as the sun sinks below the horizon. The third movement, a lively percussive dance, represents nighttime, which, for me, has always been filled with energy and possibility.

The piece incorporates into its language elements of traditional fiddle music; some of my earliest musical memories are of dancing around the house while my father played Irish fiddle tunes. This music is somehow strongly connected in my mind with the landscape I am imagining.

Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra
Ingmar Beck, conductor