Much of the music I have written over the last several years has been a fast, frenetic dreamcatcher of rhythm and texture. While I love this fast-paced electrifying style, it was my friend, Robert Stumpf, who first preached simplicity and, over the years, has continued to urge me to write more lyrically. With Robert's words still echoing in the back of my head, the idea only recently seemed exciting to explore.
I suddenly had the urge to chill out and write something more pastoral — something "simple." In an effort to uphold this simplicity, I eventually found myself thinking of Henry David Thoreau's writings. I even found myself wandering to a neighborhood pond in the late night/early mornings, before sunrise, perhaps in a feeble attempt to relate, even if for a moment, to the life Thoreau wrote so poetically about over 150 years ago. It seemed only appropriate, therefore, to name this piece after Thoreau's own liquid sanctuary, Walden.
My ideal of Walden, however, isn't necessarily only calm and tranquil, but is one that is full of life — one that moves with great harmonic and rhythmic motion. There have been other musical arrangements of the same name that are all very transparent and lightly orchestrated that perhaps romanticize the lake's magical stillness. I hope my interpretation captures a contrasting lushness, vibrance, and animation, complex in the details, but not without a few nods to tranquility. This is how I picture my own Walden to be.
The most accurate version of the score and parts is dated January 9, 2012. Earlier revisions should correct the following errata:
- Horns 1 & 2, Euphonium; m. 18, last 16th note (concert G) should be rewritten as a concert A
- Trombone 3, measures 1-3, should double the rhythm and notes of the timpani
- Percussion 2, measures 10-11, should double percussion 3 so that two (2) snare drums are heard