THE HILL OF THREE WISHES (2022) - for orchestra
Premiere: Pro Musica Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Mountain View United Methodist Church, Boulder, Colorado, November 19th, 2022.
Duration: ca. 7 min
"... the score has an attractive folkish quality... An ancient Icelandic folk song adds a sense of timelessness, and at the end the music drifts atmospherically into silence... The brief score should find willing performers and audience enjoyment." - Peter Alexander, Sharps and Flatirons
The Hill of Three Wishes is inspired by Helgafell, a sacred historical spot on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland. The hill has ruins of a pagan temple and church and was featured in two Icelandic sagas, Eyrbyggja saga and Laxdælla saga. There is a folk legend associated with the site that says that if you climb the hill in silence without looking behind you, you will be granted three wishes at the top (and a spectacular view of the surrounding fjords). This piece borrows an Icelandic folk tune, “Stóð eg við Öxará” (“I Stood by Axe-river”), written about a waterfall at Thingvellir, a gathering of medieval Icelandic legislature. Many folks who visited this Helgafell site would also likely have traveled down to Thingvellir, through the transformation of Iceland’s major religion from Paganism to Christianity.