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Murmurs in the Mist of Memory (2001)

For 11 solo strings

Commissioned by the International Sejong Soloists
Premiered by the International Sejong Soloists at the Aspen Music Festival, on 11 June 2001 in Harris Concert Hall in Aspen, Colorado.
Duration: 10 minutes


Program Note

Murmurs in the Mist of Memory

I. Ceremonial
II. Lullaby
III. Ritual
IV. Incantation

Aspec Music Festival - Harris Concert Hall

Dedicated to International Sejong Soloists, and commissioned for them by Young Ho Kim, president of Ilshin Spinning Co., Ltd.

Murmurs in the Mist of Memory is a 4-movement work that was composed in 2001.  The piece possesses a wide spectrum of nuance, at times lyrical, abstract, passionate, subtle, vivid, aggressive, colorful, floating, rhythmic, elegant, clean, or light.

Each movement features a different attribute of the Soloists' phenomenal technique — individual and collective — left hand as well as bow arm.  The aim was to capture, concisely, a specific "universe" or "mood" in each movement in the short space of 3 or 4 minutes, such that the musicians would escort the listener through a mini suite of diverse expeditions into remembrances.

Each of the movements is inspired by a short poem of Emily Dickinson.  Each poem reveals impressions to do with light.


Blazing in Gold and quenching in Purple
Leaping like Leopards to the Sky
Then at the feet of the old Horizon
Laying her spotted Face to die
Stooping as low as the Otter's Window
Touching the Roof and tinting the Barn
Kissing her Bonnet to the Meadow
And the Juggler of Day is gone



Morning is due to all —
To some ­ the Night —
To an imperial few —
The Auroral light.



No matter where the Saints abide,
They make their Circuit fair
Behold how great a Firmament
Accompanies a Star.



Image of Light, Adieu —
Thanks for the interview —
So long ­ so short —
Preceptor of the whole —
Coeval Cardinal —
Impart — Depart —

— Augusta Read Thomas


The International Sejong Soloists

To obtain examination or performance material for any of
Augusta Read Thomas's works, please contact G. Schirmer Inc..