New Music at Carnegie Hall: Carnegie Hall Commissions
Commission at a Glance
The Wane of More
Gyan Riley
Recorded on April 14, 2007
at Weill Recital Hall

Emily Eagen, Soprano; Carol McGonnell, Clarinet; Javier Diaz, Percussion; Kyle Sanna, Electric and Acoustic Guitars; Keats Dieffenbach, Violin; Nadia Sirota, Viola; Claire Bryant, Cello; Nathan Farrington, Bass


Notes on the Work

The Wane of More, a spoonerism for “the name of war,” is a reaction to the ubiquitous presence of war in the world today. “Dream” was the initial inspiration for the piece, a dream about two refugee lovers fleeing the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The second half can be interpreted two different ways: as the refugees’ desire to escape their reality, or as the common Western attitude of complacency. “Blinded” is inspired by the true story of a young American soldier who is blinded from shrapnel in an explosion while serving in Iraq. He struggles with the desire to reclaim the past and his sight. He is fearful of his disabled future and questions his decision to fight, as well as the virtue of this war. “Midnight” is a reflective, whistled lullaby, featuring descending sliding figures reminiscent of air-raid sirens. “Purpose” is about the misdirected actions of a nation driven by fear. The text offers hope for a future time when genuine compassion is a real motivation on the international scale and not just a guise for ulterior motives—a reversal, or waning, of the violent expansionist direction currently being pursued.