Scattered Mirrors (1993)


  • 8
  • Piano


Program Notes

When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.

T.S. Eliot, excerpt from Little Gidding (Number four of Four Quartets – 1942),
©1963, 1964 by T.S. Eliot

One of the great human quests is that for oneness with the eternal; the moment at which time intersects with the timeless. This topic is a recurring theme in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, and is closely tied to his lifelong desire to unite and unify the fragments and discontinuities of the world. At various times in our lives we may have intimations, fleeting glimpses of this state. In this work I have reflected upon such brief epiphanies of time, visualizing the mirrors as both the skewed glimpses of the eternal and as the scattered fragments which unite to form these glimpses.

This work was commissioned by pianist Shirley Sawatzky, who gave the premier performance in Pinewa, Manitoba on October 29, 1993. The commission was made possible with financial assistance from the Manitoba Arts Council.