at the foot of the mountain (2016)


Premiered April 22, 2016 by the Birmingham Conservatoire Repertoire Orchestra and Sandra Horne at the Adrian Bolt Hall, Birmingham, England
(2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bsn, 4 FH, 2 Trpt, 3 Trb (3=bTrb), Tba, Timp, Bass Drum, Strings)

at the foot of the mountain is about the pursuit of a singular idea. It is inspired in part by Albert Camus’s essay The Myth of Sisyphus: 

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.
I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks... The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.