Arc of Horizon
for chamber orchestra (2015)
1121 / 1110 / 1 perc. / pno / strings (min. 11111)
(version for full orchestra also available)

Commissioned by the Lake George Music Festival (Lake George, NY).
Made possible by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Premiered August 26, 2015 – Sacred Heart Church, Lake George, NY, Roger Kalia conducing.

Recorded live by Michael France; mixed and mastered by Adam Pietrykowski.

Score and parts available for purchase or rental (PDF or hard copy). Send an inquiry through the Contact page.

Program notes

"When you grow up by the sea you spend a good deal of time looking at the horizon. You wonder what on earth the waves might bring - and where the sea might deposit you - until one day you know you have lived between two places, the scene of arrival and the point of departure."
––Andrew O'Hagan, The Atlantic Ocean: Essays (2008)

The title is drawn form the Greek "ὁρίζων κύκλος" (horizōn kyklos) – "separating circle" – which symbolizes the sliver of visible horizon that always remains in the distance no matter how much one tries to reach it.

As a resident of NYC hailing from Montreal, I have traveled between the two cities countless times since childhood. At the midpoint of that voyage, Lake George has always stood out as a landmark signaling my departure from one place and imminent arrival at another. This manifests itself tangibly as radio broadcasts dissolve, replaced by new ones ahead, but with significant overlap and signal crossing along the way. Unfailingly, this transition from one "home" to another evokes tangled and conflicting emotions of aspiration, longing, regret, fear, and nostalgia.

Musically, Arc of Horizon emerges from this symbolic personal transition between my past in progressive metal and my present in concert music – I seem to perpetually chase whichever horizon seems newest, and having arrived I turn back to chase it again.

Performers on this recording:
Rachel Blumenthal, flute; Catherine Weinfield, oboe; JJ Koh, clarinet; Slavko Popovic, bass clarinet; Ryan Finefrock, bassoon; Phillip Browne, horn; Mikio Sasaki, trumpet; Kurt Ferguson, trombone; Ryder Shelley, percussion; Sung-Soo Cho, piano; Jenny Topilow and Noco Kawamura, violins; Kimberly Sparr, viola; Richard Narroway, cello; Samuel Suggs, double bass; Roger Kalia, conductor