Why Old Places Matter (2014) - For Oboe, Horn, Piano
For Oboe, Horn, Piano
Commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players
As I began work on this piece, I had just returned to the U.S. after a year in Rome. While in Rome, I visited many historic sites and found experiencing these ancient architectural spaces incredibly inspiring, not only because of the beauty of their design but also from the immense sense of history that surrounded me. One place that had a particularly profound influence on me was the Basilica of Santa Sabina, a large church built in the year 400 atop Rome’s Aventine Hill, whose windows made of translucent stone transform the brilliantly bright Roman light into soft, gently glowing hues that dance on its inner walls.
In composing this trio, my thoughts returned to conversations I had at the American Academy in Rome with Tom Mayes, a Fellow in Historic Preservation, who was writing a series of essays – titled, “Why Do Old Places Matter?” – in which he interviews artists and scholars on how old places (of both historical and personal significance) have mattered to them. The responses touch on topics ranging from creativity and beauty to identity, memory and a sense of continuity. My work is a personal expression of the feelings and emotions I have experienced in “old places.”
“Why Old Places Matter” is structured in two movements. The second movement returns to places encountered in the first movement, as we might in recalling a memory, trying to live in a space again and for longer, the memory becoming a new “old place” of its own. “Why Old Places Matter” was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players and is dedicated to the Chamber Players with gratitude and admiration.