At the Far Edge was begun in December of 1990, and finished in the
summer of 1991. When first contemplating this new work , I began to combine
ruminations on two very different topics- the qualities of youth, and the music
of Aaron Copland.
Considering the nature of the commission, it seemed appropriate to write a
vigorous piece, full of youthful ebullience, jubilation, and energy, celebrating
the fresh and innocent optimism of the young. At the same time, I began the
piece shortly after the death of Copland, and I was somewhat preoccupied by
Copland's musical spirit, his striving for the simple statement, his distinctly
American sense of rhythm, as well as a preference for high glistening
The result is a work that combines two emotional states, one somewhat elegiac
and transcendent, the other bright, and bursting with energy. The two are based
on the same simple musical material, which is transformed musically and
emotionally over the course of this work's thirteen minute time span.
At the Far Edge is written in celebration of the SYSO's
achievements over the last fifty years, and with thanks for all of the fine
musicians it has helped bring to musical maturity, including myself.