Swell (2004) for organ presents four repeating sections of riffs derived from four structural chords, similar to a passacaglia or chaconne. These are elaborated in a series of variations over the course of the work to create an ever-expanding texture. My mother was an organist, and this piece has many connotations for me, but the primary images that guided this piece were those of expansion, enfolding, overwhelming, or engulfing: the sounds of the organ filling a hall; grief; a mother’s love; the contemplation of the eternal; the Holy Spirit. Swell was written for Carson Cooman.
Premiere: December 6, 2005
James Heustis Cook, organ
Birmingham Art Music Alliance
Keyboard Birmingham concert Wright Recital Hall
Commissioner: Carson Cooman