Looking Down from Above

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     Looking Down from Above is a piece inspired by flying, observing the ocean from a birds-eye view. When Michael Hall commissioned a new piece for viola and piano, with an included fascination about the topic of flight, my mind fiddled with multiple ideas. Soaring above the ocean, however, is something that's always captivated me. Whether it's in a plane, or simply an imaginative thought of what seagulls see on a daily basis, there's a grandeur to the sea that is unmatched.

     Place yourself above the ocean with no airborne machinery or vehicles in sight. What do you hear? Wind? An occasional blow of air from a whale or dolphin? Birds cawing? Silence? There is a certain stillness to the air surrounding the open waters. But underneath the waves exists so much movement and life, that humans rarely see on a frequent basis. Truly, there is so much humans don't know about the ocean that it's both terrifying and thrilling. And to think that when soaring above barely-traveled territory on a calm, sunny day, there is such a quiet surrounding the sea.

     Within the music you will hear the calm of the ocean air, the joy of viewing the open waters, and the majesty of knowing what lies beneath.


Recording performed by Michael Hall (viola) and Michael Delfin (piano) at University of Cincinnati, CCM.