"Paestum" (2013) - For Sinfonietta
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Commissioned by International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and
the International Society of Information Centres for the Melos Ethos Ensemble
for premiere at the 2013 ISCM World Music Days (Bratislava, Slovakia)
My ideas for “Paestum” began to take shape in the summer of 2013 as I visited Paestum, an Italian site settled by the Greeks in 700 B.C., situated 50 miles outside of Naples. There, I came upon the ruins of the Temples of Athena and Hera, each temple’s colossal pillars towering silently in an open field, creating solemn shrines that open to the sky above. Adjacent to these were the ruins of the ancient city, the walls of homes that now stood no more than a foot high, the mosaic floor tiles still largely intact and the road that cut through the center of the town still showing the wagon ruts from hundreds of years past. Walking through these remnants of a time long-abandoned and imagining the lives that once flourished where I stood, and all those who had visited since, ignited my musical imagination. My piece reflects on the monumental and magical power of these temples in my music, and the sense walking amongst the ruins inspired in me.