Zenith makes the second installment of the so-called Solar Trilogy in which Gong (premiered January 7th 1993 in Copenhagen by The Danish National Radio Orchestra) is number one; the third and final part will be entitled Corona and is ”about” the ”crown” of the Sun: the ultra-hot halo encircling and radiating from the centre of the solar system itself: the Sun. Solaris. Helios.
Where as Gong describes the inner “life” of the Sun itself, Zenith takes us back to Earth; the music depicts two sorts of moving towards zenith (point of culmination): quite literally the orbit of the Sun across the sky, precisely as in Carl Nielsen’s Helios Ouverture, but here sustained over a time span of almost half an hour. But it is also a musical parable of sorts, about the archetypal, basic human striving towards climaxes, will power, vision, etc… Thereafter descent, decay, nothingness; ergo Birth-Life-Death-Oblivion, a musical/architectural arch inherent in several of my pieces (Monodrama, Polydrama, Tundra, Throne among others).
Zenith is an immensely slow music, of almost Oriental patience; predominatly hushed around a tonal “axis” of C sharp.
-Poul Ruders, London, February 1993.