The title “In Lonley Fields” arises out of many solitary walks in the fields and mountains near my home in western Montana. During such walks a progressive meditation developed on the life force of Bradley Lowman – on its urges and lively sense of itself, its need for resolution and movement, and on the needs of family and friends who have been left behind. I hope that this musical statement will in some way be part of that resolution.
The music has formed itself around three hymn times from the “371 Chorales” by J.S. Bach, a collection which has been the focus of my personal study for many years. The tree melodies in order of appearance are “Christ ist erstanden” (“Christ has risen”), “Herr Gott, dich loben wir” (“Lord God, we praise you”), and “Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist” (“Now we ask the Holy Spirit”). These are woven into the musical fabric of my composition and serve as structural supports for the span of the piece. The first suggests that life is forever, the second that in all things is the presence and hand of God, the third that the spirit of highest love arises out of deepest grief and loss.
“In Lonely Fields” was commissioned by Robert and Mary Sue Lowman in memory of their son, and is dedicated to them, their family, and friends.
Program note by David Maslanka