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for orchestra

Year:  1999 Instrumentation:  2*220; 4331; timp., 1 perc; strings

Year:  1999
Instrumentation  2*220; 4331; timp., 1 perc;...

Composer:   John Psathas


A reviewer at the premiere performance wrote: “This is music suspended in space, existing for its texture only. It locks a continuous event in stillness by eliminating attack and abrupt change. Rhythm and melody are eliminated and replaced by long and sustained chord shifts achieved through clever dovetailing of single notes, tone colours and dynamics.”

When I was invited to write a fanfare for the new millennium I inevitably found myself considering the last 1000 years. For me, the single most striking feature of human history during the last millennium has been the increase in travel and the settling in foreign lands of smaller and smaller groups. In the distant past, an entire race of people would slowly traverse one continent. Today, an individual, in the space of a few days, is able to completely uproot from their homeland and settle in a country on the other side of the world.

A friend of mine, Pan, moved to New Zealand from China. For her, the pressure to integrate two very different sets of beliefs proved ultimately overwhelming. This work is dedicated to her memory.

Score and parts available here for hire.

Commissioned note

Luminous was one of the Fanfares for a New Millennium commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia from 11 New Zealand composers in 1998.

Dedication note

In memory of Pan