Commissioned by Laurel Whisler in honor of her husband, Bruce

Sentinels was commissioned by friend and colleague Laurel Whisler for her husband Bruce who, with Gary Malvern, gave the premiere in the spring of 2002.  Gary recorded the piece with Ivano Iscari in Verona the following summer.

The work pays homage to the mensural advances of the trecento and may be more bicinium than fanfare in its modality and didacticism.  Framed by echos of a martial motive, the central portion of the composition wends it way through various configurations of perfect and imperfect tempus and prolation, accelerating towards an abrupt cæsura in the process.  (In this sense the rhythmic structure can be heard to collapse on itself.)

Despite my efforts to sustain a mood of celebration, the image ever-imposed before my mind’s eye as I worked was that of two towering, isolated individuals—shadow figures in some tragic sense—invoked, no doubt, by the events of September 11.

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