Friday, March 21, 2014

Cathedral Shadows (2014) for organ -- Music from a Dream

I used to have vivid dreams, though most of them stopped after the arrival of my daughter. Most likely this was because of her variable sleep schedule. Now that she has settled into more regular sleeping habits, the lucidity of my dreams has returned in full force. Recently, I had a dream that I was in a cathedral at twilight filled with quiet music. The music started very simply, similar to block-like organum, above a pedal G drone. As the sun set, and stained glass windows began to cast colored "shadows," the chords began to blend together, contrapuntally, as if a freshly-written musical score were left out in the rain, the wet ink "bleeding" the chords into one another. Following this delicate, hazy texture, the original block chords returned, and I woke up. Captivated by its haunting nature and simplicity, I tried to write down as much of the music as I could remember. This acted as the basic material for my organ piece, Cathedral Shadows. I dedicated the work to Harvard organist and composer Carson Cooman, whose organ performances I was listening to shortly before I fell asleep. Carson has since recorded the work, and you can listen to his performance on the YouTube link, below.

Enjoy! And if you're interested in writing for organ, yourself, you can find a few of my tips, here.