Symphonic Poem - From Forgotten Lands, for Orchestra.pdf
This work is the latest addition to a growing catalogue of letters, works of music, paintings, and visits that constitute my friendship with the British artist John Hitchens and his wife Rosy. In response to John's large three-panel painting "From Sombre Lands," I composed a piano work, which I then orchestrated. Inspired to this orchestration, John completed a large painting in 2015. This new piece is in response to that latest painting in our chain of creative correspondence. The title comes from what I suppose is a misreading of one of the captions to a photograph of the painting in progress, which John included in a letter to me. It is perfectly fitting, though. Landscapes have been the primary subject of John's career, first in a loose painterly style like his father Ivon Hitchens, and then in a more geometric, abstracted style, with paintings resembling the patterning and texture of aerial photographs of landscapes. John’s recent work has focused on this rhythmic, linear style, using warm earth-tones for the majority of his palette. This new painting swirls with styles and colors: the aerial style of recent paintings as well as the painterly style of his earlier work, pinks, blues, and teals join the warmer, reds, yellows, and browns in an enormous piece of truly orchestral scope. The reunion of a forgotten or relinquished style with his current aesthetic make for a powerful statement about the arc of an artist’s creative output. In its dense, rich harmonies, its varied moods, gestures, and timbres, this work serves as a worthy response to such a beautiful creation.