This work was written in Michigan, just before the official start of the Spring season in 2018. As many who live in the Midwest know, Spring is both a wonderful and a frustrating time. Wonderful, because the earth is coming back to life after the long sleep of winter, and the budding flowers and leaves are full of hope and promises of warm days ahead; frustrating, because this transition is often filled with teasing fluctuations between warm and cool days. There are often a few final snowfalls, as the earth struggles back from its slumber. I think we can all relate to such sleepy reawakenings…

The title of this work, aside from the obvious associations with the spring season, was inspired by a few lines from a song by the band La Dispute, titled “The Castle Builders.” These lines are as follows:

I see a beauty springing upward from the earth and from out our hearts
For all the bad that seems to plague us, I swear to you there's good

This song, and these lines, have been an inspiration to me for many years. I find the message to be uplifting, and it permeates the mood of this work.

The sections of Springing Upward from the Earth are given titles which describe various images of a spring day. These titles are “mini-movements,” in effect. The sound and progression of each section is determined by changes in texture, rhythm, and tempo – not so much by melodic content. The final section “Above, the atlas of clouds,” takes its inspiration from the novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The image of an unchanging, eternal set of clouds is a fitting one for the end of this piece, which is otherwise focused on change.

Springing Upward from the Earth (2018)

  • File will be provided as a printable PDF containing a title page, program notes, score, and individual parts.


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