the sediments

the sediments (2021)
for orchestra

RBC Affiliate Composer, Toronto Symphony Orchestra  Commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Gustavo Gimeno Music Director

Premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis, Conductor Laureate, April 2022

“The sediments are a sort of epic poem of the earth.  When we are wise enough, perhaps we can read in them all of past history.  For all is written here.  In the nature of the materials that compose them and in the arrangement of their successive layers the sediments reflect all that has happened in the waters above them and on the surrounding lands.”                                                                                 ~ Rachel Carson

At the beginning of things, before it ever rained, there were clouds.  Clouds so heavy, no light could penetrate to the earth.  Any rain that did fall was instantly converted back into steam.  At some point when the temperature of the earth dropped enough, the rain fell.  Every surface on the planet filled up, and the continuing rain dissolved the land above, washing away and dissolving things.  As I listen now to the rain, water surrounds me.  I think about the weight of sediment, and our history.  Water flows on, whether I am here or not.  Everything that ever was is still here.