Don’t Go There
duration: 9 minutes
Don’t Go There was premiered by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Myssyk, conductor, at Rice University, Houston, TX, on February 23, 2006.
Live recording of the premiere performance:
When I was first formulating ideas for this piece I spent a lot of time by the ocean. It was a grey northern California winter in Santa Cruz—the beach was windy and the ocean fierce. Near my house water comes swirling up from a 3000 foot-deep trench at the bottom of Monterey Bay and hurls itself at the cliff sides and rocky outcroppings of the coastline. Here I felt an exhilarating sense of the ocean’s power. When I later continued work on the piece in Houston, I found myself spending time in a very different environment. But walking around the sometimes shady neighborhoods in between Rice University and downtown, I felt a similar sense of energy. For some reason I am drawn to places like this, places with attitude – cliff sides and dark alleys that, as you approach, seem to put a hand into your face and say, “don’t even go there.” This piece is not really about coastlines or urban sprawl but I think and hope that some of the energy of those places is contained within the music. Don’t Go There begins with a quiet but volatile murmuring that keeps threatening to erupt. After a slow middle section the music reaches a surging climax only to collapse on itself and subside like a receding wave. The piece is nine minutes long.