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Joan Tower

Publisher: AMP

Island Rhythms (1985)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Year Composed
8 Minutes
Programme Note
Joan Tower Island Rhythms (1985)
Composer note:

Island Rhythms is a seven-and-a-half minute celebratory piece divided into three sections: fast-slow-fast. The fast outer sections, somewhat reminiscent of Caribbean drum music, develop and explore a repeated figure through textural, timbral, registral, and dynamic contrasts. The repeated tutti chord which climaxes the work was inspired by a fragment from the final movement of Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique. The central section has a slow-moving upward direction that becomes more "luminous" as it rises. This was an attempt to depict an underwater swimmer gradually rising to the water's surface from a very deep place in the ocean.

— Joan Tower

  • Ensemble
    Louisville Orchestra
    Lawrence Leighton Smith
    First Edition:
  • 29 NOV 2013
    Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
    Universidad Veracruzana
    Lanfranco Marcelletti, conductor
  • 10 NOV 2005
    Chattanooga, TN
    Chattanooga Symphony Orchestr
    Robert Bernhardt, conductor

    Other Dates:
    11 November - Chattanooga, TN

...a punchy opener in the post-John Adams vein, pounding and surging away with a firm sense of harmonic direction...
Robert Maycock, The Independent,11/12/1990
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