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Meditation at Perkiomen Creek for Harp


Sometimes inspiration comes from the happy "synchronicity" of new stimulus. In early 2021, I was studying Yolanda Kondonassis's books and videos about writing for harp, in conjunction with composing Atomic Turquoise for flute, trumpet, and harp. I was particularly taken by her YouTube illustrating special sonority effects, though none seemed right for the type of chamber work I was writing.

At the same time, I was about to get back to bicycling on the Perkiomen Trail, a sort of magical tree-hidden path along the beautiful Perkiomen Creek, which I hadn't done in years.

Yolanda knew me only as a publisher, and she asked for suggestions about who might be good choices to compose short harp works for her upcoming "Five Minutes For Earth" benefit project. We scheduled a Zoom meeting to brainstorm, and since I was working from my home studio, Yolanda saw me in a wood-paneled cabin-like room with a piano and blown-up publication covers of my Perennials, Sonata (Three Lakes), and others with striking nature photos on the front. Getting a good sense of what my musical world is about, Yolanda then invited me to be one of the composers in her ecological benefit series.

She further explained that she's looking for music with appropriate mood and relevance, not flashy showpieces, and perhaps something meditative. My longing for the mystical solitude of the Perkiomen Creek immediately clicked with Yolanda's description, and I knew a little tone poem like this could be perfect for one or two of the special harp sonorities in Yolanda's book -- perhaps as a little nature cadenza, like the birds in Beethoven's Pastorale, or Janequin's choral music.

Meditation at Perkiomen Creek is all of these things.


last updated September 19, 2021