Perpetuum

for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, viola, and cello

Performed by the Beijing Contemporary Soloists conducted by Zhang Baihe
World premiere performance 12/02/2020 in the Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing, China

Program Note

Perpetuum is the Latin word for perpetual, which means never ending or changing. Another definition is occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless or uninterrupted. This is one of the adjectives used by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, a fifth century Greek theologian and philosopher, to describe the Seraphim in his work “Celestial Hierarchies,” which is a description of the ordering of the angels, the Seraphim being the highest order, closest to God. My piece does not try to mimic what the Seraphim might actually sound like, but draws inspiration from the author’s description of a heavenly body suspended in eternal perpetual motion.