The River Jumped Over The Mountain

Instrumentation: wind ensemble

Year: 2010

Duration: 7-8 minutes

Program Note:
At the time I was writing this piece, I was struggling to come up with a title.  I had gone through several rather dull names and eventually enlisted the help of my sister Katherine.  She is an avid reader and I asked her if she knew of any poems or books that used colorful imagery that might speak to the piece.  She suggested a famous W.H. Auden poem called "As I Walked Out One Evening."  At its most basic level, the poem tells of a man who listens to a lover's song.  The lover sings joyously at first of his relationship before lamenting the passage of time that will ultimately seperate him from his love.  The opening lines of the lover's song reads:

Love has no ending
I'll love you, dear, I'll love you
Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the Salmon sing in the street

While my piece does not deal with issues of love or time, the extensive use of imagery is analogous.  When I set out to write this piece, I was interested in highlighting the diversity of color that a wind ensemble can afford. Often, my music focuses primarily upon the development of melody and harmony.  Here, I made a conscious effort to subordinate those elements in favor of color. The bright and ecstatic imagery of this opening stanza encapsulates for me the beginning and end of my piece both in terms of emotion and imagery.  Thus, I have to give a special thanks to my sister for her excellent recommendation.  The River Jumped Over The Mountain is a work for wind ensemble and was premiered by students at the University of Texas Butler School of Music.