Two Variations on Ascent into the Empyrean is a pair of short orchestral movements inspired by my children’s artwork entitled “Rainbow for Mama, with Door”(Thora, at age 3 yrs. 9 mos.) and “Rocketship and Blast-off Fire” (Otto, at age 3 yrs. 11 mos. The drawings, for me, reflect the children’s fascination with the immensity of our world and provide a glimpse into the immensity of the worlds inside their minds. Both transport us into the heavens – the Empyrean – and beyond. But while Thora enters this realm via a small golden portal, Otto is propelled skyward by the colossal power of a rocket, leaving in his wake a spectacular rush of fire and smoke. Two Variations on Ascent into the Empyrean was composed for and premiered by conductor Glenn Block and the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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