Apparition (1994)

for orchestra

The emotional idea for Apparition stemmed from a disturbing image of an early morning dream. In the dream I saw this beautiful, timeless, placid river making an almost perfect reflection of the surrounding scenery. As I went closer to the waters to contemplate my own image, sudden disturbances pulled me away from the river in fear and terror.

Following closely to the imagery of the dream, the opening rippling texture allows the basic chorale melodies to pull us into this world. Two sudden intrusions, or “unanswered questions,” onto the delicate fabric of the work are reminiscent of Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question. The horn plays a Brucknerian theme after the first chaotic intrusion. After the second and final intrusion, I allow my own buried emotions to surface. While I cannot forget the figures and events that have shaped my being, I can only hope to embrace them as a vital part of my existence. Apparition ends with the acceptance of these shadows.

This recording of Apparition is by the University of Southern California Orchestra, conducted by Donald Crockett.