• 2+pic.2+ca.2+bcl.2+cbn/4231/timp.perc/hp.pf/str
  • SATB
  • 35 min

Programme Note

Symphony No. 3 is dedicated to my father. It was composed in 2014 and 2015 while it became clear that his illness would be terminal. He passed away in early 2017.

The Symphony has become my most personal work until now and it is much less extrovert than some of my previous works. A sense of farewell, of departure from the present and from the certain towards something new but yet unknown, goes through the work. My working title became „Point of Archimedes“. Originating in theoretical physics, Archimedes formulated the idea that if given just one truly fixed point, one man alone could move the whole earth off its foundation. This has become an allegory for the human yearning for one truth beyond doubt – one thing we might cling to – upon which all other knowledge could then rely.

The music is built upon elements related to seeking, questioning, losing, remembering and leaving:
– Sounds recorded by NASA’s „Voyager“ probe on its way into space.
– The Shepard tone: an auditory illusion of a tone that continues to rise yet never changes.
– Algorithms which repeat themselves and yet are never the same.
– Excerpts from Qu Yuan’s Chinese poem „The Heavenly Questions“ from around 300 b.c. with 170 questions and not one single answer.
– A Hebrew poem about the loss of childhood.
– A Danish lullaby „Look how red the sun, Mother“, but only in instrumental form, never sung and only in variations – only as a memory.

Towards the end the chorus sings without text, and at the very end even with closed mouth, while the tonality rises and rises. And we realise, that a fixed and certain „Point of Archimedes“ cannot exist. The searching and the asking and the questioning may be answer in itself.

Søren Nils Eichberg, 2018