Program Note

Inspired by the short story of the same name by Italo Calvino from Cosmicomics, a series of unique short stories with an ethereal feel, THE DISTANCE TO THE MOON is . The flute symbolizes Captain Vhd Vhd’s wife, the unrequited love interest of Qfwfq, who is represented by the viola. The harp, the third character, represents the moon. 

The story begins with the scientific premise that, millions of years ago, the Moon was much closer to the Earth. Calvino fantasizes that it was so close in fact that beings could jump from the Earth into the gravitational pull of the Moon. As the Earth’s tides push the moon further away, it becomes more and more difficult to make this journey. During their final attempt, Captain Vhd Vhd’s wife is trapped on the Moon unwittingly by Qfwfq and is stranded for eternity. For a time he is able to catch a glimpse of her until she disappears as the Moon drifts further and further away. 

The Distance to the Moon was commissioned by the Lyra Society of Philadelphia and is scored for flute, viola, and harp. This is the second work of mine to draw it’s inspiration from Calvino's short stories. The first is COSMICOMIC, a piece for orchestra.

-Stephen Cabell