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Lera Auerbach: "Dreams and Whispers of Poseidon" in Los Angeles

In March, 27th .2005, the American Youth Orchestra will perfom the new composition Dreams and Whispers of Poseidon by Lera Auerbach in Los Angeles. The conductor is Alexander Treger.

Lera Auerbach comments:

"I was asked by The American Youth Symphony for a work to celebrate their 40th Anniversary Season, to be premiered at the opening of their concert program in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and in New York at Carnegie Hall. I originally set out to write an entirely different work entitled "An Overture for an Unforeseeable Future", but then the disaster of Dec. 26, 2004 happened. A friend of mine, Brigitte Feldtmann was in the Maldives, miraculously escaping the deadly wave. AYS Outreach teacher, Orlantha Ambrose, was not among the survivors. 175,000 lives were taken by the sea that day. This changed the course of my work. The future indeed has been unforeseeable. A totally different piece had emerged.

The power and mystery of the ocean has been very present in my mind in the last six month, as I have been working on my new ballet "The Little Mermaid", commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet for the opening of the new opera theater in Copenhagen and for the anniversary celebration of Hans Christian Andersen. But my fascination with the sea started much earlier. The Ocean, with its magnetic powers of creation and distraction, endless mysteries, unimaginable beauty, bottomless darkness and fascinating colors, its vastness, its creatures - had been in my dreams from early childhood.

When I was little, I knew the ancient Greek myths by heart, especially those of the Argonauts. In some ways, I lived in a double reality and some part of me was wandering somewhere in the waves on the board of Argo. Poseidon was an everyday presence (and sometimes a threat) in my life. He was real. Mermaids, half-fish, half-human chimeras were real too. They still are. In them, too, the line between destruction and creation is blurred, as the line that separates death and love.

Perhaps this fascination with ocean partially happened because I lived in Chelyabinsk - an industrial provincial city in Russia, very far from any sea - (in fact I had never seen an ocean until I came to New York at the age of 17). The imaginary sea of these tales and myths symbolized a different world: beautiful, mysterious and powerful, at times very cruel, but much more colorful than the world around me. In my first improvisations on the piano, at the age 3 and 4, I would try to paint a story in sounds. The story was about the sea and the white sails ship (a variation on a famous Lermontovs poem). There would be a storm, the ship would sink and the sea would again appear as if nothing had happened. These were my first "compositions". Perhaps in some ways I am the same child, unable to wake up from the dream world of the myths, which only reflects too often in the real life. Perhaps I am still writing the same piece after all.

(Lera Auerbach)