In a Mirror Dimly… is an autobiographical work that follows my mental development from my teen years into my mid-20s and offers a way forward into the future. First comes legalism: a canon, which represents a rule-based thought process. Next is freedom and individuality: indeterminate methods and textures. Finally, the piece concludes with unity and wholeness, using quoted and composed hymns in chorale settings. The conceptual content is taken from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, a story of a Hindu man’s life through the development of his own ideology into Buddhism. He begins by following the rules of his faith obsessively, then he decides that the rules themselves don’t matter as much as the spirit behind them, and finally he begins to see the interconnectedness of nature through the flow of a river and gains a fuller picture of all that is. I have also included an anxiety motif which begins as an interruption or nuisance; it then takes over in the form of a panic attack but is quelled by a hymn: “Be Still My Soul,” with text written by Katharina von Schlegel set to the tune of Sibelius’ Finlandia. Finally, the anxiety is contained and molded to help the overall texture rather than disrupting it. The anxiety is never truly eradicated, but it is transformed.
- In a Mirror Dimly...
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