Copy of VERMILION.jpg

Instrumentation: + 2 perc./harp/solo violin/strings
third flute doubles piccolo/perc. list: triangle, tamborine, tam tam, tubular bells, suspended cymbal, snare drum, bass drum

Duration: 24 Minutes, Three Movements

Commissioned by: The Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra

Program Notes: VERMILION is my second violin concerto, and for inspiration I took myself to Kilmarnock, Scotland, where my grandfather's grandfather was born a few years before he left for the United States. While there, I roamed hillsides covered in moss and bracken where my Boyd ancestors had fought against Vikings and the English alongside fellow scotsmen like William Wallace and Robert Bruce.

While I've always harbored a strong affinity for the vivacious and the romantic qualities of Celtic music, this was the first time where I was struck by the colors of Scotland; the greys of the cloud cover and weathered stone, the vivid greens of the moors, the dark scarlet of bracken, and the vermilion that seems to be everywhere in small, beautiful doses.

The first movement of this work will take you to the moor; its clouds, fog, moss, grass, flowers and streams. The second movement follows a folk melody, haunting different sections of the orchestra as it works gradually towards an ecstatic ending. The third movement sets itself at a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), which in its simplest form means a social visit, though its contemporary usage refers to a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

Cover Art: “Naked Heart” by Sasha Parfenova