Where the Heavens Meet Earth
Where the Heavens Meet Earth is a beautiful, lyrical work for young band. Featuring flowing melodic lines and a beautiful 4-note motive that gets transferred throughout the ensemble, the piece is a perfect mid-program work to show off the colors of the different instrumental sections and opportunities to teach about blend and balance within the group. The piece is inspired by the picturesque salt flats in Bolivia called Salar de Uyuni. Located in the Southwest near the Andes, the flats were formed by the transformations of several prehistoric lakes. With variations in elevation that average around a meter, the extreme flatness following a rain turns the 80-mile landscape into the world's largest mirror, reflecting the sky above.
The piece has two main sections that vary orchestration and pass around the 4-note motive, which begins in the clarinets, before being transferred to the flutes, and then is later "reflected" when the low brass and Basson take over the motive in the lower register. Where the Heavens Meet Earth begins to build 15 measures from the end to a powerful climax, and then comes to a soft resolution as the upper woodwinds play the 4-note motive one final time.
I love photos of landscapes reflected in bodies of water, which inspired the piece.
Where the Heavens Meet Earth is set to published by Alfred Music for their 2021 catalog.