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This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Weill Hall - Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
New York Youth Symphony
Composer's Notes

I'm constantly interested in intersections between music and the other arts, but searching for true and meaningful connections between my work in music and what I find in other media always been difficult for me. I find myself (for example) enraptured by certain (well, maybe many) works of contemporary architecture, and have tried to find ways to bring my inspiration to a musical canvas. It's a notion certainly not without precedent—Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores (written in 1436 for the consecration of the Florence Cathedral) responds to the ratios of Brunelleschi's magnificent dome in way that highlights the simple elegance and ingenious construction of both works. But I find these truly organically informed connections to escape my grasp as a creator for now, especially in our post-modern world—how does one viably represent contemporary architectural concepts like Plasticism through music? I remain stuck on that one—but plan to continue my quest on the larger question.

I do find one element in what artists of differing ilk share has to do with the process itself. Regardless of medium, it seems that for the artist, the work must exist in a sort of haze until complete. One really can't know exactly how it will turn out, even with the best of planning and intention. An unfinished score is just as terrifying as a half-blank canvas to its creator. My mother is a photographer, and I have spent some time with her as she works. What impresses me most about a photographer's work is the time spent in the darkroom—the act of realizing the creation. It's tremendously physical work, requiring dexterity and finesse, and must also happen in strictly allotted amounts of time (not unlike a realization of a piece of music), but it all happens in near-complete darkness. One can't know what they've got until they are completely done. Aperture in Shift is for me a study in light and dark (an aperture being an opening through which light passes, and an essential element in any camera), my own chiaroscuro, encounter.

— Sean Shepherd

Reproduction Rights:
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

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