Hesychasmos

Instrumentation
Flute
Oboe
Clarinet
Alto saxophone
Bassoon
French Horn
Trumpet (part in C)
Trombone
Tuba
2 Percussion:
I: Glockenspiel; Ceramic wind chimes
II: Vibraphone; Large concert bass drum.
Electric Guitar/Steel String Acoustic Guitar
Harp
Piano
Synthesizer
Strings (min. 1-1-1-1-1)
Commissioned for Great Noise Ensemble by the Music Department of the National
Gallery of Art in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the opening of the gallery’s East
Building. Written between May and July, 2012 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Duration: ca. 25 minutes.

Hesychasm is a hermetic tradition in the Greek Orthodox church whose aim is to bring devotees into close
communion with God through intense meditation (specifically on the “Jesus Prayer”, “Lord Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me, a sinner,” which is used as a sort of mantra) and stillness. It is a process of “retiring
inward” to seek a closer experience of God.
Hesychasmos is, perhaps, a more secular meditation on the desire for stillness as a refreshing, revitalizing
practice in human experience. Stillness and silence are nearly lost, exotic experiences in the 21st century
Western world, and Hesychasmos reflects a desire for something lost, both to me, personally, and to our
culture in general. Stillness, here, is achieved through slow motion harmonic movement and a shear,
sensual enjoyment of pure sound, particularly the resonance of a very reverberant space.
Hesychasmos was commissioned by the music department of the National Gallery of Art, Stephen Ackert,
director, for Great Noise Ensemble, in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Gallery’s
East Building.