Whisper, Echo, A Cry is not a fanfare. Over the years I've written an number of concert openers, fanfares and even some pieces for orchestra that seem to need to fill a function to be loud, fast, noble, happy, or cheery — not that there's anything wrong with that…but this is not one of those.
When I began this piece I decided to develop musical ideas that chart a very different course (while still suggesting elements of fanfares by featuring the brass, often playing dotted, echoing rhythms). These ideas work with strongly contrasting moods — gentleness, slow-building agitation and their inevitable, dramatic outcomes.
These ideas are all suggested in the title — a very quiet opening texture with a lyrical trumpet melody followed by many different echoes of that music and its fanfare-like rhythms, and, later on music that builds to a full-throttle outcry.
Whisper, Echo, A Cry was written for the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the San Antonio Symphony in 2014.
— Aaron Jay Kernis