From Earth to the Moon —1999

From Earth to the Moon was commissioned by Network for New Music as a collaborative project with Philadelphia choreographer Leah Stein. It was premiered at the Arts Bank in Philadelphia.

Program Notes

FROM EARTH TO THE MOON is the score from my 1998-99 collaboration with choreographer Leah Stein on an evening length dance/music piece.  The four sections are sequential, yet non-narrative, presenting, in the choreographer’s words, “a cycle of events with many interrelationships that may be interpreted with infinite variation.”  The music draws on diverse techniques from numerous musical languages and styles.  Stephen Foster’s tune, Beautiful Dreamer, used as the theme for the variations in Part I offers a simple, nostalgic point of departure—a sense of home, an impression of the ordinary, out of which extraordinary things may develop.  Earth/Sky (Chaconne), continues the voyage “outward” into new territory, with the ever-lengthening ground bass initially in the cello, then in the flute for the second half of the movement.  The chaconne forms a bridge into the sonic explorations and coloristic mysteries in Travel Memory (Episodes).  Blue Orbits is a coda, both in form and style, introducing “process music,” slowly unfolding and expanding outward over a steady pulse.  The melodic ideas build slowly on themselves, then echo and loop around, creating a resonant sound-space for reflections on the journey, and projections for the future.

Leah Stein played an essential role in the creation of this music.  I am greatly indebted to her and her company’s inspired work.  I would also like to thank Linda Reichert, for suggesting Leah and I work together, as well as the Network for New Music Ensemble, conducted by Jan Krzywicki, who premiered the work.


I. Beautiful Dreamers (Variations)

II. Earth/Sky (Chaconne)

III. Travel Memory (Episodes)

IV. Blue Orbits