The title of this work is taken from Thomas Hardy's poem of the same name, written at the signing of the armistice on 11th November, 1918; a couplet from which is set, in a moment of tranquillity, in the second movement.
Relatively new to living in New York, I am much more aware of the independent, vibrant cultural plurality that exists today; it's probably the single most dazzling facet of the City and is largely responsible for the infamous 'edginess' that pervades daily life there. With this in mind, I set to work on this piece for Remembrance Sunday, already knowing that musical works connected with commemoration or memorial are often suitably pensive and slow. I wanted to start with that concept, but to bring in some of that City 'edge' that has been such a large influence in my life over the past two years. The result is that the first movement is quiet and gentle (a moment of recollection), while the second is much faster and vibrant (the texts here dealing with transmigration and the future). Put simply, And There Was A Great Calm begins looking back and ends gazing forward.