The title of this work comes from the poem Wordsworth wrote for a memorial statue of Sir Isaac Newton. Part of the poem reads:
And from my pillow, looking forth by light
Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold
The antechapel where the statue stood
Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind for ever
Voyaging through the strange seas of Thought, alone.
I think the phrase is a wonderful description of what many scientists and artists do, especially those going against the current of their times. Although it doesn’t have a specific program, my piece attempts to take such an epic journey, recreating both the stormy and the contemplative periods of the trek. It was written at the request of my colleague at the University of Louisville School of Music, Krista Wallace-Boaz, during the summer of 2004.