Instrumentation: oboe/English horn & percussion (1 performer); marimba (5 octaves), vibraphone, temple blocks, suspended cymbals (2), triangle
Plaisirs éphémères de l’été (The Fleeting Pleasures of Summer)
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to spend a fair amount of time in Quebec and to immerse myself in its warm and vibrant culture. My favorite time to visit is in the summer. Up north, the winters are long and cold, so when the weather finally does warm up, the Quebecois are intense in their eagerness to spend as much time outside as possible. In summer, the streets of Montreal are bustling with sidewalk cafes and outdoor festivals. The numerous parks are full of people. Additionally, a large number of people head for the many lakes and mountains in the surrounding region. For several years now, we have been able to rent a cabin for a few weeks on lac Noir, a small lake two hours north of Montreal. This programmatic piece seeks to capture the intensity of those brief summers, the emotional highs of those precious times spent with a loved one, and the majestic beauty of the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal.
I. Journée au lac Noir (A Day at the Lake) A tranquil morning on the lake; a few birds, insects and frogs. Slowly the activity level rises until it reaches a noontime festival of sun, wind and water. Late in the afternoon, there is time to lie in the sun by the edge of the water. At the end of the day the wind gradually dies away as the sun sinks below the hills.
II. À la belle étoile (Under the Starry Sky) Far from the city lights, the night sky is a sight to behold. The Milky Way stretches across the sky and everything is silent and peaceful. The lake is smooth a mirror as you lie in the rowboat and watch for shooting stars.
III. Retour, le vent dans les voiles (Returning with the Wind in your Sails) All good things must come to an end. The hustle and bustle of every day life coexists with the lingering memories of those summer days.