The Fountain

Composed November, 2011 - January, 2012

Duration: 8'
Instrumentation: Sop. 2Vln. Vcl. Gtr. Pno.

I was asked to write music in memory of a wife, a mother, and a friend to many...

I did not want to set a florid poem - one that over sentimentalized human emotion - because humans do not naturally grieve with loquaciousness. Grief is terse: not in duration, but in intensity. And so I turned to the work of Denise Levertov, whose craft relies on simple language (in both word and construction).  

“The Fountain” turned in my subconscious...

Mary’s Rosary has always offered me  (as long as I’ve sought it) the greatest remedy for grief’s pointed blade. Its twenty mysteries embrace four qualities – Luminous, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious – all of which reflect upon each other to form a potent healing cordial. And so I prepared the poet’s text in such a way that it too might embrace these qualities: four meditations with a simple thread for the story.  

                                                                      -NATHAN WILSON BALL

January 13, 2012 - Vilar Center for the Arts, Beaver Creek, CO. 
Courtenay Budd, soprano, Chee-Yun and Jing Wang, violins, Jeremy Turner, cello, Zaira Meneses, guitar, Conor Hanick, piano.

Commissioned by the Vail Valley Foundation as part of the June S. Kang" Love of the Arts" Scholarship.