Symphony No. 1 "Revealer of Secrets"

This is my only symphony so far. It was written and recorded in 2006, primarily as a soundtrack for a planetarium show at Pensacola Christian College entitled "Stair Steps to Space." It was, of course then, written primarily to support the content of the show, and strictly conforms to the show's format. Within these bounds, though, the piece takes full liberty in musical expression.

The purpose of the piece, even above its necessary conformance to the show, is to express the wonder of God's creation. It creates a world, shaped in music, in which the listener escapes the distractions of the typical superficialities of ever-day life, to meditate for a time on the creation and consequently the Creator.

My brother Jesse, who was the recording engineer for the project, did an excellent job tweaking the orchestra parts for realism and musicality. He also originally suggested the title "Revealer of Secrets" for the show, but the other title was chosen in the end. However I liked his title and kept it for the symphony.

About the Music

All of the main thematic material for the symphony is found in the 1st movement. An exception is the descending chromatic motive the 8th movement, whose source is much less obvious, but is indeed found before that movement.

Another little secret is that there is a very direct relationship between the overall forms of the seventh and ninth movements. Though not obvious when listening, a simple form analysis on each would probably give it away.

Some of the movements are very short due to the shortness of the corresponding sections of the show. Also, a lot of the material is light in musical content, since, being a sound track, it is to not draw too much attention away from what is being said and shown. It is in loose symphonic form, spread across the ten movements/scenes.

Both of the primary themes are presented in the first movement. The first theme features orchestra, synthesized with Garritan Personal Orchestra, and synthesized voice, both providing quite natural sounds. The voice can be thought to represent humanity and our awe and wonder at God and His creation. The theme includes a counter melody, which is simply a rising diatonic scale, often presented in planing intervals (usually 6ths or perfect 4ths). The second theme, also in the Introduction, features electronic sounds, produced by the Kerzweil K2500. One could look at the symphony in two senses: the first recognizing the presentation and interaction of the two melodic themes; the second seeing the composition as the coexistence of two non-melodic "themes" corresponding to two concepts: the known and familiar, generally represented by the orchestral sounds, and the unknown and unexplored, that which we wonder about, generally represented by the electronic sounds (not meant to be thought of by the listener as "electronic" necessarily).

While the symphony may never reach popularity, it suffices me that the Creator sees my work as an admiration of His handiwork. It is a pitiful work in comparison to any of His works, but it is a small reflection of the beauty in the world and laws that He created, having found its inspiration in this. And the meaning that the soundtrack supports, the wonder of His creation, and the Revealer of Secrets Himself, is most meaningful to me. It was a thrill to communicate it in music.