The mere creation of a written score and parts was a formidable
challenge: the obligation of specifying exact pitches and rhythms seemed
out of sync with the fluid temporality and fuzzy contours of Bulgarian
instinct and style. The presence of a conductor also presented a problem,
since traditionally this figure functions as an authority and time-regulator,
not as a moderator who undertakes to balance diverse and sometimes conflicting
experiences surrounding "Ancient Echoe"s launched me on a new course, initiating
an outpouring of approachable new works within a relatively brief period.
These include "Villages of the Earth" (1996; for SATB choir and percussion),
with text by Meridel LeSueur); "The Dreamweaver" (1996; for orchestra and
narrator), based on a Chinese folk tale; "Cafés of Melbourne" (1997;
for orchestra and accordion), three portraits of café life in Melbourne,
Australia; "Wataridori" ("Bird of Passage," 1997; for SATB choir
and oboe), adaptations of three haiku by the Japanese poets Issa, Ryushi,
and Kyorai; and "Beijing Cai Hong" ("Colorful Rainbow of Beijing,"
1998; for SATB choir, Chinese pipa, and violin), based on writings by participants
in the International Conference on Women convened in Beijing in 1995. All
these pieces draw on humanitarian themes and a global perspective; they
reflect the current of social reconstructionism which has recently swept
through the arts in the United States, and form the foundation of the works
to be composed over the course of my three-year, community-based Meet the
Composer residency with four organizations in the Twin Cities (1999-2002).
After that, if not before, it is safe to predict the emergence of a fourth
phase. May its label, when it gets one, not begin with "post"!