These Four Directions
- Sunrise in the East
- Southern Summer: Roan Mountain High Balds
- Take Your Place Among the Western Stars
- North Carolina Called Me Home
This piece is about the directions that you love, directions you can almost not stand to face, and directions you never thought you’d go.
I. Sunrise in the East
A cliff top. The heartbeat of the Earth is warm and insistent. Birds call and ride the thermals and the sun’s edge emerges.
II. Southern Summer: Roan Mountain High Balds
The balds on Roan Mountain’s summit are over ten joyful miles of open meadow and blue sky, rhododendrons, and easy trail. Butterflies flit, grasshoppers jump!
III. Take Your Place Among the Western Stars
The West is associated with the setting sun and endings in some Native traditions. When someone dies suddenly, there is no map to help you travel through the land of grief. We can stand here together after sunset and watch the stars come out, knowing that one of them is YOU, Eric Varner.
IV. North Carolina Called Me Home
I spent time in Southern California earning a graduate degree, drinking way too much coffee, swearing at other drivers and the traffic, working at a series of miserable retail jobs, and watching huge fires burn. I chucked it all and moved back to NC. Great Danes, gardening, loads of healing, freelancing, chamber music, dear friends, and the love of my life awaited me.
Thank you to Elektra Winds for commissioning These Four Directions! Elektra is: Laura Dangerfield Stevens, flute; Anna Lampidis, oboe; Eileen Young, clarinet; and Amber Ferenz Spuller, bassoon.