Icarus

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IMG_3656.JPG

Icarus

6.00

for solo clarinet (2006)

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Susan Martula with David Alan Miller

Susan Martula with David Alan Miller

  • Premiere: 4 March 2007 / Susan Martula / Albany Museum of History and Art / Albany, NY
  • Instrumentation: clarinet
  • Duration: 3'

Program note

I have long had an intense recurring dream: in it I am flying through the air unaided, looking down at the world and feeling ecstatic. I fall. In the falling, I find liberation. I have always associated flying with creativity, with freedom, with exploration, with life, and with spirits (good and ill). As a pre-teen, I spoke and wrote about my identification with the mythological character of Icarus so frequently that my mother sculpted him for me. "He'll outlive us both," she laughed. "Despite himself. Such is the nature of art." Fifty years later, the statue is still with me. I wonder which, if either, of my sons will take him along for the flight after I am gone?

The three-minute-long monologue imagines Icarus alone the night before his fateful flight, his father's admonitions still ringing in his ears, filled with subdued dread, anger, frustration, and remorse.

The Albany Symphony Orchestra commissioned Icarus for premiere by Susan Martula on 4 March 2007 at the Albany Museum of History and Art as part of an American music festival.

(Banner photo: GWEN HAGEN Icarus, My Son 1965. Terracotta, 11 x 6 x 9)