“Sacred Space was inspired by a dramatic painting (Sacred Space 2010) by the noted American painter Nancy Newman Rice. When I first saw the painting I was instantly riveted by it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I absolutely had to compose a narrative piece of music about this painting. It is a musical composition of spiritual light and renewal represented by the magical and mysterious renovation of a dilapidated cathedral.”
Live Performance With Composer’s Intro
Mark Narins Conductor, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, June 7, 2014
Program for the composition
4 AM. The Cathedral is totally empty, no pews, moonlight shines through the non-existent roof. It is cold and damp. Mist blankets the floor.
Rats, mice and insects wake up and scurry about. (Bass clarinet and bassoon).
Moonlight reflects off the Cathedral floor (the sound of the vibraphone)
Wind blows through the church forming dust devils that traverse the floor. (Fast triplet figures in the woodwinds).
Dawn breaks. Shafts of sunlight begin to come through the missing roof – represented by unrelated major chords in the wind instruments
An invisible pipe organ begins to play (Trumpets and Trombones)
The floor begins to vibrate ominously. Rolling notes in the timpani, bass drum, tremolos in the cellos and basses.
The invisible organ is heard briefly
The whole church shakes violently and EXPLODES!
The first vertical post of the scaffolding bursts through the floor, represented by the descending sliding in the whole orchestra (Orchestral glissando). Horizontal pieces are represented by the ascending and descending chromatic scales. The cathedral fills with scaffolding.
The brick arch floats to the top of the church (broad choral theme in the strings and organ). Sunlight streams into the cathedral. The walls repaint themselves. Purple ribbons adorn the balcony. GOD returns to the cathedral.
Looking dazed and confused an angel (the solo viola) appears on the floor of the cathedral. She rises slowly to the ceiling looking down on the splendor of the re-consecrated cathedral.
The choral theme breaks forth again with such force that the whole cathedral lifts off its foundations. The church shakes so violently that it begins to disintegrate.
The church walls dissolve, collapse and disappear completely.
All that is left is the angel fluttering its wings, hovering in a totally blue universe.
· Where are we? Perhaps heaven!