Prayers for a Feverish Planet

Weather Sketches (2019) – Paul SanGregory (United States/Taiwan)
I. Dry Spell
II. Gentle Rain

This piece was composed for and premiered at the 2019 Earth Day new music festival at Xinghai School of Music in Guanzhou, China. In keeping with the festival’s theme relating to the Earth, I chose to focus on a couple aspects of the Earth’s weather. Musically, the interval of the 5th appears throughout both movements because, just as the weather is a primal aspect of life on Earth, so the 5th is a primal element of music and timbre.

“Dry Spell,” the first of these two sketches, evokes the empty dry feeling of a summer drought. In this movement, the 5ths not only help create a sense of space, they also provide color and, near the end, are used to evoke heat slowly rising from the Earth’s surface. The second movement, “Gentle Rain,” is built around two basic ideas, one gently falling and the other steadily rising. The falling idea represents gentle rain, and the rising idea represents plants and trees rising out of the Earth and reaching toward the sky.

Paul SanGregory

Paul SanGregory’s music has been performed extensively in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, other Asian countries, the US, Europe, Russia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It has also been broadcast and discussed on radio and TV in the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand. His music has been funded by the National Culture and Arts Foundation of the Republic of China, The National Center for Traditional Arts – Taiwan Music Institute, and various CDs containing his music have been published by Capstone Records/Parma Recordings, Taiwan Composers Association, Leyerle Publications, ShineCreativity co., NSYSU Baroque Camerata, Lumiere Records, Novana Records and Early Music Society Taiwan.

After earning a DM in composition from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music on a university fellowship, he taught composition and theory at the University of Indianapolis and the University of Toledo (Ohio) before moving to Taiwan. Since that time he has lived in Kaohsiung, teaching at National Kaohsiung Normal University, National Sun Yat-Sen University, and National Pingtung University. He has also coached, conducted and composed for NKNU’s Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble. He is currently Associate Professor of Music at National Kaohsiung Normal University, serves on the board of directors for both the Asian Composers League’s Taiwan Section and The Taiwan Composers Association and is resident composer for the Succession Percussion group.