For orchestra

Premiere: December 1, 2017, Stude Concert Hall, Rice University Houston,

Shepherd School Symphony at the premiere of “Floodgates”.

TX  by: Shepherd School Symphony, Joshua Hong, cond.

Duration:  ca. 10 min

Listen to the premiere of Floodgates below:

Program Notes:

Floodgates (2016) was written in response to the escalating global crises in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres. The current age finds itself in a sort of permanent war zone, too often seeking solutions in arms, heated rhetoric, and pointing fingers.

However, in light of these problems, this work’s objective is not simply to “vent” or dwell in negativity. Instead, it points toward hope through an avenue that the world has left largely unexplored: that of mercy.

In order to musically incorporate the idea of mercy, this work includes quotations from Gregorio Allegri’s “Miserere” (c. 1630), a renowned choral setting of Psalm 51 which asks for mercy.

The composition races through moments of both anxiety and determination, culminating in a climactic moment in which the “floodgates” burst and the orchestra evokes images of torrential downpour along with restatements from Allegri’s “Miserere…” Finally, the work is left somewhat open-ended or unresolved, in order not to prematurely celebrate what is still left up to the world to hopefully live out. –DK

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