Piano Trio – Starscape

Instrumentation:  Violin, Cello, Piano
Duration:                 7 minutes
Year:                           2014


Program Notes

Starry Night over the Rhone - Van Gogh

When writing this piano trio in the summer of 2014, I was inspired by the paintings of Van Gogh such as his well-known “Starry Night” (1889) and its lesser known cousin, “Starry Night over the Rhone” (1888). This encounter with Van Gogh was not my first, but only most recently was I drawn to his paintings and noticed the juxtaposition of the fragile stars in the sky against a terrifying and slightly surreal nightscape. I was moved by his depiction of the universe’s beauty and desolation in balance, and sought to express that within this piece.

For Starscape, this piece is about the progression from light to darkness, from peace to chaos. I imagined myself looking out into the sky and taking in the stars. The stars begin to move closer and closer, until their blinding light reaches a climax before fading away into the distance.

Performance History

  • Mar 02, 2015, Land’s End Ensemble
    University of Calgary, Rozsa Center
    Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Feb 02, 2016, Land’s End Ensemble
    University of Toronto, Walter Hall
    Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Mar 22, 2016, TEMPO New Music Ensemble
    University of Maryland
    College Park, MD, USA
  • Aug 26, 2016, Locrian Chamber Players
    Riverside Church Performance Space
    New York, NY, USA

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