CHILDREN OF GODS 

YEAR

2014

 

INSTRUMENTATION

Orchestra:

3232/4331/timp+4/hp/str

 

DURATION

19 minutes

 

COMMISSIONED BY

Hawaii Youth Symphony

 

MOVEMENTS

I. Moon Treader

II. Earth Raiser

III. Fire Bringer

 

PROGRAM NOTE

CHILDREN OF GODS takes its title from a chapter in Martha Beckwith's monumental Hawaiian Mythology (1940). The genealogy of the Hawaiian Gods comprises a web of intricate connections with entities spawning from multiple origins. In this way, the work is based on a single arch-like motive that evolves into different kinds of music over the course of the four movements.

 

The first movement, Moon Treader (Hina), is atmospheric and portrays the beauty of Hina, an attractive, smart and determined young woman pursued by men and other creatures. Hina becomes tired of living in the crowd, flees to the moon, and eventually becomes a goddess. The music ebbs and flows with wave like figurations and forceful tidal changes.

 

The second movement, Earth Raiser (Maui), is built upon rising scales and is inspired by the Polynesian hero Maui pulling the Hawaiian Islands into existence from the sea floor. Maui is said to have created the Hawaiian Islands by convincing his brothers to take him fishing. Maui catches his hook upon the ocean floor. He tells his brothers that he has caught a big fish, and tells them to paddle as hard as they can. The Brothers paddle with great might raising the islands behind them.

 

The final movement, Fire Bringer (Pele) erupts with visceral percussion and a fierce and fiery depiction of Pele. Recognized as the goddess of volcanoes, Pele is known for her power, passion, jealousy, and capriciousness. The music is incisive and explosive. A volcanic atmosphere illustrating the searing molten lava, tectonic activity, the vengeful beauty that has come to personify Pele and her volcanic dominion. 

 

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