The Silence of a Falling Star Lights Up a Purple Sky (2005)
for piano [4:40]

“La nuit, on ne voit pas grande chose sauf les illuminations, mais c’est normal.”— Notre Dame webcam advisory

The human eye can only distinguish color up to a certain frequency of the spectrum, but smaller wavelengths register as distinct shades with other animals. Flowers that appear plain white to us attract bees in differentiated gradients of ultraviolet.

On New Year’s Day, 1953, Hank Williams was found dead, outstretched on the back seat of a Cadillac, yet three of his unreleased singles reached the top of the county charts during the year.

The Silence of a Falling Star Lights Up a Purple Sky is a piece about drawing arbitrary borderlines along a continuum. The piece scans the spectrum from bottom up, gathering intensity as it progresses. A sort of seven- chord passacaglia slowly coalesces, snowballing in momentum until it shoots past the final point of perceptibility.

Commissioned by the FleetBoston Celebrity Series and premiered by Sergey Schepkin, 16 April 2005, Jordan Hall, Boston, MA