With Life, Love

Life, this moment of our here and now,

This place of all we ever are,

The time we share in this our touch of present near and far.

With peace revere this treasured place of sudden sound and light,

As once we play upon this earth with all that is with love unite.


For strings, piano, oboe d'amore, bassoon, trumpet, and percussion.


Three Words

I returned to this three word poem over the course of a year: With Life, Love

All that follows is an elaboration, a meditation that has altered over time.

I ponder on the first word 'with'. I cannot think of life without with. For me 'with' gives voice to my closeness to something, a person, or a quality. I think of my time with another, I think of my self: with happiness, with sadness, fear and hope. The idea of 'with' connects me to those things of personal significance.

The comma between life and love serves to make the word love a declaration, an affirmation, a statement of my intent that in long form reads: with my life, I will try my best to love.

Life is far bigger than I, and so I also read 'with life' as my time with other living things. In this sense 'with life' refers to my being part of a teaming yet fragile community. The three word poem encourages me to more carefully consider my actions outside of my own human self interest.

The music is in three sections much like the title poem. There is a lot of with throughout the piece. The repeating patterns of sound, the arcs of melody and texture that rise from the low horizon to the sky then back again, the hesitant pause of heartbeat, the surge of many. The music comes to a close with the lyrical call of a violin playing a two line melody, an aural expression of with.


Artwork: The Limbs of Earth

The accompanying artwork is full with the vibrant leaves of life rising from the blue-green water. The sky hangs thick with the limbs of earth and mist...

A full size section from the artwork follows: