The Short Road to Nirvana (1999 rev. 2004)

3333 4331 13 harp, piano, strings (doublings: picc, eng. hn, cbsn)
6 min.

The Short Road to Nirvana takes its title from a comment made by a former professor of mine during one of her lectures, in which she spoke about using simple means to create complex textures and intense, colorful sonorities. Composed in 1999 and later revised, the piece consists almost exclusively of a single melody, surging up out of the lower reaches of the orchestra and winding its way through a kaleidoscopic, variegated background, before being absorbed back into the sonic landscape in a final, blinding climax. Contained in this narrative, perhaps, is an attempt to glimpse a state of ecstasy, though it is enough, for me, to think of this brief work as an expression of unrestrained joy through the play of color and light.