Death of the Hekatonkhire (2013)
Death of the Hekatonkhire is based on the myth of the Ancient Greek monster by the same name, and its tragic end. In the mythology, the Hekatonkhire is a hundred-handed humanoid creature who aided the gods against the raging titans. The piece expresses the tragic death of the Hekatonkhire, an ally to the gods, yet a pitiful, ugly sight not worthy of the mortal realm. I felt that this story was well suited to the harp, an instrument for which I had much admiration, particularly the ability of a harpists hands to maneuver across large intervals with more agility than a pianist or other chording instrument. At the same time my goal was to give the harp something entirely out of character for the instrument. Too often in my study of harp repertoire did I come across dozens of pages with nothing but glissandi or rolled tertian structures, therefore my first rules when composing the piece were to use these techniques sparingly, or to use them with extreme delicacy. This piece is not intended to be a “pretty” or “soothing” harp song, instead (much as the title suggests) it is a gritty and tragic romantic tale that at times becomes quite violent and much out of the typical character of the harp. The piece is dedicated to Lauren Arasim, with whom I worked closely to compose the work.