THEN ECLIPSE full score: page 1

Program Note

At the time of the composition of this piece, millions of people across the United States were preparing for a total solar eclipse of the sun which took place on August 21, 2017. A poigniant historical parallel came to mind in this time of intense social and political division. The ancient historian Herodotus writes of a conflict between the Medians and Lydians which occurred in 585 BCE: “in the sixth year a battle took place in which it happened, when the fight had begun, that suddenly the day became night…when they saw that it had become night instead of day, ceased from their fighting and were much more eager both of them that peace should be made between them.”

The Medians and Lydians interpreted the eclipse as a sign of god’s disapproval and ended their conflict. If the United States has ever needed a sign from god that we must put our differences aside, now is the time. If not in 2017, then perhaps in 2024 during the next total solar eclipse. Seven years is not too long to wait for harmony.