Under Bleak Skies



Program note:

While composing Under Bleak Skies, I found myself thinking about the impact of humans on our oceans. Currently in British Columbia there is a proposed pipeline to ship oil from Alberta’s Tar Sands to the coast. There is strong opposition to this proposal, and especially to the risk of an oil spill in coastal waters. We are also constantly bombarded with news of other symptoms warning that our oceans are in danger: higher PH levels, orca whale numbers dropping lower each year, fish populations that are near collapse, and the vast plastic gyre in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.Under Bleak Skies is a musical lament for the ocean. In the beginning of the piece the sea is calm and two birds circle overhead. However, a feeling of alarm and panic gradually enters the musical texture, until all the instruments are sounding an alarm. (JB)