Ruins was inspired by a journey through ancient ruins in Italy and Greece in August 1988. The style of the work is representative of many of my works: compositional structures intermingled with influences ranging from medieval chant, through contemporary classical music, as well as popular, rock, and folk music. The result is a soundscape that is simultaneously challenging and alluring. The piece is divided into brief sections — or ‘panels’ — that highlight different sections of the orchestra, with recurring musical elements bringing organization to otherwise disparate musical materials. The work is a description of ancient ritual inside a contemporary framework, reminding us that we are the same humans as those who lived thousands of years ago, but whose cities now lay in ruins. The composition of Ruins was completed in Richmond, Virginia, in January 1989. It was premiered by the Virginia Commonwealth University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Commanday, on April 27 of the same year. The professional orchestral premiere was given in 1992 by the Kingsport (Tennessee) Symphony, conducted by Carol Crawford.
Premiere performance: Virginia Commonwealth University Symphony, David Commanday conductor, VCU Performing Arts Center, Richmond, VA, 1989
Professional premiere: The Kingsport Symphony, Carol Crawford conductor, Kingsport, TN, 1992
MIDI Realization (computer rendering)