“How will you ever find peace unless you yield to love?"
With all of the inequality, violence, and pain in our world, I continue to dwell on the importance and impact of love — love shown to others and love shown to oneself. When considering the focus for this Seraphic Fire commission, I didn’t necessarily choose the topic of love, it was a calling.
I am a hoarder of poetry and one of my favorite collections is “Love Poems From God” — mystical poems by Daniel Ladinsky inspired by famous writers from around the world. This book is a composer’s dream with colorful, powerful, and succinct writings that talk of living fully, deep spirituality, self-contemplation, and love. When starting my work on this new composition, I opened Ladinsky's book to find a treasure trove of quaint parables and sage advice for us all as we seek meaning in our human condition. “The Hope of Loving” uses a selection of writings inspired by spiritual mystics throughout history to explore the idea of love and its manifestation in our lives.
The work begins with the string quartet playing a descending sequence of a single musical interval — the perfect fourth. This interval appears throughout the work as a musical motive but also a sign post; acting as a sort of character or embodiment of love. The string quartet, soloists, and chorus serve equal roles throughout the work in bringing these mystical words to life. In each of the six movements, I have endeavored to capture various ways we, as humans, respond to and act on our idea of love; hopefully creating opportunities for introspection and realization.
Love is our most valuable resource, our most precious possession, our doorway into fostering compassion. May you consider these texts and this music with an open mind and ask yourself, “to whom can I give more love in my life?” For it is through love, both given and received, that our world can change.
"Wild Forces" is the second movement of "The Hope of Loving" and may be performed on its own, with piano or with string quartet.
The commissioning of this work was made possible by the support of the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music.
St. Francis of Assisi, trans. Daniel Ladinsky
There are beautiful, wild forces within us.
Let them turn millstones inside
filling bushels that reach to the sky.