Sorcsek, The Iron Garden

USD $150

A tour of national parks in southern Utah during 2017 inspired composer Jerome Sorsek to create a five-movement, 36-minute masterpiece celebrating nature: The Iron Garden.

Product Description

Jerome Sor­c­sek
The Iron Garden
I. The still­ness of that which is vast
II. The per­sis­tent silence of pres­ences formed through­out time
III. The rumor of life from that which is inanimate
IV. The appear­ance of small enti­ties with­in immense places
V. The exul­ta­tion of that which is pure­ly physical

Year: 2017
Instru­men­ta­tion: Con­cert Band
Dura­tion: 36 min
Dif­fi­cul­ty: Medi­um Advanced, Lev­el 5

Score preview

In April 2017, I was on a tour of five nation­al parks in south­ern Utah. The pre­pon­der­ance of iron – now most­ly iron oxide – in the region had me think­ing about the ori­gin of the met­al there and its pres­ence so near the sur­face of the plan­et. What I found real­ly inter­est­ing were the wide­spread evi­dence of sig­nif­i­cant ero­sion of most­ly sed­i­men­ta­ry rock and the idea that dur­ing inter­mit­tent peri­ods this region was under­wa­ter. Now rivers – the Col­orado, the Green, and the Vir­gin – con­tin­ue to flow through the canyons that came about through the slow, (as humans might con­sid­er it) seem­ing­ly eter­nal, work of nature. Stand­ing on a canyon floor look­ing up toward the top of the canyon, or gaz­ing at mesas and buttes on the hori­zon, one would of moun­tains that were formed by the upward thrust of seis­mic activ­i­ty. Yet, these points of high­er ele­va­tion were at one time the sur­face and are now those parts of that sur­face that remained behind as sur­round­ing areas were worn down through ero­sion as water poured over them from high­er ele­va­tions fur­ther east.

On a return trip to one of these parks – Zion Nation­al Park near the south­west­ern cor­ner of Utah – I hiked on the East Rim Trail start­ing at Weep­ing Rock, a few hun­dred feet east of the Vir­gin riverbed. The trail is heav­i­ly switch-backed with an ele­va­tion gain of 2100 feet at the junc­tion with the Obser­va­tion Point cut­off. The trail to the point is a flat, cres­cent-shaped tra­verse to the edge of the East Rim over pow­dery red sand per­me­at­ed with that icon­ic iron oxide. This com­bined with out­crop­pings of scrub veg­e­ta­tion gives one a sense of approach­ing a shore­line, and at one time this was essen­tial­ly that.

Dur­ing the brief inter­val of six months between these two vis­its, I com­posed this five-move­ment work that was moti­vat­ed by my fas­ci­na­tion with this part of the world. The title alludes to ero­sion and the effect of a gar­den grow­ing from the sur­face into the ground rather than from the ground up. The fruit of the gar­den is the iron oxide infused red rock. It is a piece that cel­e­brates nature.

The spring 2017 trip began and end­ed in Salt Lake City, and on attend­ing the noon organ recital in the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle on the last day and enjoy­ing the acoustics of that hall — live yet warm with all the wood in the con­struc­tion of it – I first had the idea of com­pos­ing a work about the week’s expe­ri­ences and includ­ing a promi­nent organ part in the scor­ing. It would be nice to hear it played in this hall, I thought.

Jerome Sor­c­sek

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