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Boosey & Hawkes

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


World Premiere
CBC Gem Virtual Stage, Ottawa
National Arts Centre Orchestra / Alexander Shelley
Composer's Notes

When I was reading Leo Tolstoy's Diaries (1985, Athlone Press) I was particularly moved by a passage in which he defines what progress is: not the process of gaining more knowledge, but rather a greater clarification of the existing truth that we inherently possess within ourselves. He writes: "The truth is always accessible to a man. It can't be otherwise, because a man's soul is a divine spark, the truth itself. It's only a matter of removing from this divine spark (the truth) everything that obscures it."

In the 2020 pandemic era, this idea of progress and its (good or bad) consequences inspired me to write this new piece, as part of the Undisrupted Project, initiated with the National Art Center Orchestra (Ottawa). “Iskra” is the Serbian word for “spark.”

I worked alongside Montreal’s Normal Studio to create a unique visual experience that blends the energy, dynamism and intimacy of live orchestral performance through graphic design and mixed reality.

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