Last night was the premiere of Terranean Meditation on Thomas Jefferson’s property at Monticello. It was a blast to have poet laureate Rita Dove in the audience. As the title indicates, this piece is a meditation on our fabulous, amazing planet, a planet unlike any other we have yet discovered. It is in two movements. In the first movement, Earth Song, a simple canon is passed around the ensemble, repeated over and over with slight variation, much in the same way the earth spins slowly on its axis, each day much like the last, yet no two days exactly alike. The second movement, Earth Dance, imagines our planet hurtling at tremendous speed through space – which, of course, it does: the earth circles the sun at about 67,000 mph. It doesn’t feel that way to us, but our perspective is irrelevant. To us, a half-million years seems like an extraordinarily long time; to the earth it is just a few spins around the block.
In any case, the second movement features a prestissimo spinning motive, relentless and dizzying. Part of the earth’s grandeur is the fact that it is at once both fragile and impervious.
Tonight we’ll have the second performance here at Wintergreen. The Quartetto di Sassofoni Accademia will be scintillating, once again.