At the Rising of the Sun


by Anne Boyd

Full Orchestra
2222 - 4331 - timp - perc(1): tam-t/susp.cym - strings
Commissioned by the Kuring-gai Symphony Orchestra
First Performance
27.5.01, Australia, Ku-ring-gai Town Hall: Kuring-gai Symphony Orchestra/Wilfred Lehman

Full score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
“… at the rising of the sun …” are words drawn from Mark’s gospel in the King James version of the Bible. The passage tells how at dawn, on the first Easter morning, the three women set out to anoint Christ’s body only to discover his empty tomb. The music can be read as their dawning consciousness of the mystical fact of Christ’s resurrection. The work is both a meditation and prayer. Essentially it is about tuning – of ourselves to each other and to the natural world. The sun is perceived cosmologically as a symbol for the Son of God and for the coming of light, of life (both natural and spiritual) and of knowledge. Philosophically the music is based upon the intersection of Christian Love with Buddhist silence, a concept which lies at the heart of my creative activity. The work also represents the conjoining of past and present being largely based upon an earlier work As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams from the narrative account of her spiritual journey by the deeply Buddhist Lady Sarashina of 14th century Japan. I see no contradiction in the coming together of Buddhism and Christianity in this context as a representation for Matthew Fox’s idea of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ as the dawn of a new age in spiritual consciousness – an outlook which has much in common with medieval Christian mysticism as represented in the life and work of Hildegarde of Bingen, whose world embraced a deep reverence and awe for the earth conceived as Mother – God’s greatest gift to human king. This work was commissioned by the Kuring-gai Symphony Orchestra for the centenary of Australia’s Federation. It is dedicated to my beloved lifelong friend and teacher, Peter Sculthorpe. Anne Boyd

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