Christopher Lee

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Performed by the Rice University Shepherd School of Music Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Cristian Macelaru.

The title Interiors is meant to signify a psychological or emotional interior, a mixture of impulse and instinct that operates beneath the surface of conscious action. This general idea is the starting point for an exploration of different narrative paths—ones in which actions may be influenced either by interior impulse or exterior catalyst and in which both types of action can intersect. 

Interiors begins with a lyrical English horn statement, which gradually becomes inflected with chromatic pitches, suggestive of change from within. The violent middle section symbolizes change precipitated by an intrusive force. The hammered chords in high woodwinds and strings that initiate this section are the catalyst; in response, the solo trumpet presents a radical reworking of the English horn theme. The cathartic climax of this section makes a resolution possible at the end by acknowledging the volatile nature latent in the outwardly peaceable English horn theme. The piece roughly takes the form of an arch, with a return to the quieter atmosphere of the beginning, but only after an intervening reckoning. The work is essentially left to run its own course of self-discovery, come what may. 

Time and Tide

Performed by the Speculum Musicae; Conducted by James Baker

Time and Tide takes its title from a quote by Harriet Beecher Stowe: “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” This seems a particularly vivid description of the tension that compelling art attempts to replicate in its reflection of the human condition, or that it takes as a starting point for further discussion, hopefully arriving at some small enlightenment.


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Comments [5]

Alan Polinsky

I am reminded of my last visit to the dentist.

Aug. 10 2010 12:23 PM
Carl S. from Bloomington, IL

Colorful, dramatic, gripping -- not sure what Eva means --

Jul. 14 2010 05:21 PM
Keane from Boulder, CO

Really fine music. Well-written and stimulating to listen to.

Jun. 26 2010 05:21 PM
Eva from Copenhagen, Denmark

I disagree with Dr. Scott.
it is skillful, very well orchestrated and impressive.
But lacks originality.

Jun. 26 2010 06:40 AM
Dr. Scott Giles from Sacramento, CA

"Interiors" is a real piece of music! It is the best work I've heard amongst these many "440" composers and I would easily buy an album of this music.

Much may be said of the orchestration but for me the most impressive thing is the dramatic sense, the dramatic timing the composer masterfully exhibits.

Jun. 21 2010 01:17 AM

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