for small chamber orchestra; 7′ (2004)
excerpt, performed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Contemporary Chamber Ensemble:
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“Aulis” is a concert adaptation of music from my opera Iphigenia At Aulis. That opera, based on a rather unusual version of the classic Greek myth, begins with a huge storm dying down into stillness, continues with a great deal of drama revolving around Iphigenia’s role in getting the wind to start up again, and ends with the storm starting up once more, more fiercely than ever. That “storm” music, wild and unruly, felt like it wanted to be heard on its own. And so this piece, “Aulis,” is the result: the storm dying down, followed by a few minutes of utter stillness, almost meditative, and then the storm starting back up again. It’s something of a study in contrasts, starting with some of the most dissonant music I’ve ever written, winding down into something simple and crystalline, and then launching back into swirling dissonance.