Peals of Engine (2019)
Peals of Engine alludes to the sound of a train whistle. When I was at the piano in my apartment in Ann Arbor, I was playing around with different harmony, and suddenly a train whistle echoed from afar which unexpectedly created harmony with what I was playing. This coincidental event made me construct the musical materials and structure for this whole piece. It made me realize the freedom and power of the whistle to travel through vast space and how we can naturally come into play a role in our auditory experience in our daily life. Even if we do not visually see the train passing by, the whistle arrives in our ears and we can decide to let it flow into our activities. Sometimes, we may be too occupied to even perceive it. This piece explores such single activity of sound that may evoke different feelings each time we listen when we let ourselves observe our physical and internal states in the moment.
Premiered on February 6, 2020 at David High School, AL
Commissioned and conducted by Tim Beattie