• John Luther Adams
  • Canticles of the Sky (cello ensemble version) (2015)

  • Taiga Press (BMI) (World)
  • cello ensemble (min. 16)
  • 18 min

Programme Note

In the Arctic sky, the low angle of the sun and heavy ice crystals in the air often produce vivid halos, arcs and sundogs (parhelia). Sometimes these phenomena create the illusion of multiple suns. Sky With Four Suns is a musical evocation of such an apparation, from sunrise to sunset.

Similar visions also occur at night, which is the image behind Sky With Four Moons.

Canticles of the Sky is scored for four choirs of 'cellos, with a minimum of two voices on each of the sixteen parts.

The choirs should surround the audience, in this configuration:
I
III IV
II

Dynamics rise and fall with texture and register. The ideal is a balance in which all tones sounding at each moment are equally audible.

Bowing is free throughout.

These pieces may be performed separately or together. The performance duration of each is about 4:20.

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