"Letters to the Ocean" is written for Seattle Chamber Players and was premiered in Seattle, 2006. The title originates from the Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen, with whom I often collaborate. In 2002 we wrote the musical drama "MIKI ALONE, 7 songs for a mad woman" for the FIGURA Ensemble in Copenhagen. In one of the seven songs it says "...you could write a letter to the ocean....". Absurd as the idea of a "letter to the ocean" may seem, I found it very touching and inspiring. And it came to my mind, when I set out to compose this piece: The letters to the ocean were to be 4 musical letters. The titles of the first three movements are all quotations from MIKI ALONE:
1. When night falls
2. Drown one ocean in another.
3. Calm down.
- In the last movement I call upon another favourite poet of mine: The english romantic author Gerard Manley-Hopkins. To one of his poems I did a very simple tune, originally written for singing guitar player (or guitar playing singer). An arrangement of this song forms the last, short movement of the piece, and it has also given the movement its title:
( Heaven Haven: I have desired to go / Where springs not fail / To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail / And a few lillies blow // And I have asked to be / Where no storms come / Where the green swell is in the havens dumb / And out of the swing of the sea. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889))
The piece exists in two versions: The original version for quintet and an adaption for nonet (wind quintet, piano and string trio) written for Ensemble MidtVest in 2008.