Opus 29 (2017) – Helios

Program Notes

In Greek mythology, Icarus is the son of Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. In order to escape from Crete, Daedalus and his son create wings from feathers and wax. Daedalus warns Icarus not to fly too high, lest his wings melt nor too low should the sea’s dampness clog his wings. Icarus, however, ignores the warnings and flies too high, the sun melts the wax, and he tumbles into the sea. Helios is a modern re-telling of the myth of Icarus. The music is constructed from Pascal’s triangle to create a thirty minute drone which increases exponentially in intensity and harmonic depth. Overlaid on the music is a narration, in the form of radio transmissions from an astronaut. The astronaut is flying towards the sun, apparently to record some observations. Along the way something goes wrong, communications with earth begin to fail, and he is left attempting to solve the problems on his own. This work requires a sound system capable of rendering low frequencies to properly enjoy the recording.