NOTES about the album
I Close My Eyes In Order to See is an introspective journey of healing through music. The repertoire on the album was chosen to illicit the many emotions and stages one might go through when dealing with personal conflict or strife. During moments of meditation or prayer, many people are able to connect with their thoughts and feelings on a very deep level. At times, one might feel a connection to the energy of the Universe, at which point new levels of clarity and healing can occur. While this isn’t typical meditation music, I feel that this 60 minute musical journey will help take the listener from the illusory feelings of confusion and fear to a grounded feeling of peace and the many pathways to which healing can lead.
Canadian composer Arthur Bachmann’s “I close my eyes…” was originally written for me to commemorate my mother’s courageous and ultimately successful battle with cancer in 2006. Arthur was inspired by 19th century artist Paul Gauguin’s quote “I shut my eyes in order to see.” The three movement work moves through the emotional swings brought on by such a diagnosis and the contemplative nature of closing one’s eyes in order to see more clearly.
American composer Kent Kennan perfectly captures feelings of fear and discourse in his 1936 composition, “Night Soliloquy”. The work begins and ends with a haunting and insecure melody which is very evocative of this first stage of grief and healing.
“Etching” is a short solo flute excerpt from Canadian Harry Somers’ 1964 composition, The Picasso Suite written for full orchestra. Slow and somber, the work can provoke feelings of sadness and longing.
In 1984, American Composer Henry Wolking wrote “The Gate of Lodore” to represent the canyon carved by the Green River in the northwest region of the Colorado Plateau. The seesaw feelings of bargaining could be represented by the juxtaposition of the river theme to the contrasting sections that represent natural phenomena, such as the immense canyon walls that “dwarf the ego and inflate the spirit”. (quote by H. Wolking)
Arthur Bachmann’s “The Curmudgeon and The Lark” is based around the beautiful story of the grief an old Curmudgeon experiences after losing his wife and the joy of befriending of a bird with a broken wing which he nurses back to health. The melodies are hauntingly beautiful and they represent so gorgeously both sadness and optimism for the future.
Although André Jolivet’s 1944 work “Chant de Linos” was written as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire, its depictions of an “ancient Greek mourning chant consisting of laments interspersed with cries and dances” (quote by A. Jolivet) makes it a perfect representation of the feelings of deep anger and despair that one experiences after tragic loss or painful experience.
After releasing so much anger one can come to a place of acceptance. Gabriel Faure’s 1898 Paris Conservatoire test piece“Morceau de Concours” presents a simple and pure melody. The piece evokes a feeling of tranquility that can accompany the eventual acceptance one must come to on their journey of healing.
Efraín Amaya’s 2009 flute duet, “Pathways” requires the two flutists to shuttle both the melody and accompaniment back and forth, often once per bar. This beautifully represents the need for support of close friends and loved ones in a healing journey. The many different cascading sections, separated by rhythmic, pulsating moments show that there are many different paths you can take once you are free from all the negative emotions from your past conflict.
I would like to personally thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for their generous support of this CD project.
Author of Program Notes : Sara Hahn
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