chorus and orchestra - 15 min.

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus 2013 Thomas Nee Commission

Program Notes:

Ikarus-Azur is a musical response to humankind's ambivalent relationship to both nature and technology. We value technology for its ability to lift us out of adverse natural situations and environments, yet we rely on those natural environments for their ecological productivity and beauty, things which can be degraded by technology.

Our Promethean flames, our Icarian wings, the fruits of our technological labors have become as powerful as any natural phenomena. Truly, the sublime, that pleasurable sense of terror when faced by forces more powerful than any single human, is now the purview of both nature - and technology. What are we to do? Shall we reject the offspring of our minds, our concepts corporealized as metal and electricity, in favor of nature's harsh dominion? Or will we trample and decimate our habitats as fuel and raw materials for the inexorable march of reason and technology?

Ikarus-Azur dwells upon this dialectic by synthesizing celebrated poetry by Stéphane Mallarmé, Gottfried Benn, Henry David Thoreau and Aeschylus into an emotionally charged narrative. Ultimately, we have no answers, only questions - for we are haunted by the azure.

Performance History:

World Premiere: December 7 and 8, 2013

Mandeville Auditorium, University of California, San Diego

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus

David Chase, conductor