Chamber Music Northwest commissioned Chris Rogerson to compose a clarinet quintet for the Dover Quartet and clarinetist/CMNW artistic director David Shifrin. Originally, Rogerson thought the work might be based on Italian dance forms, but it took a very different shape. Here is how Chris described the inspiration for his work:
“Thirty Thousand Days was composed in the first half of 2017. my father, ever the statistician, prefers to think of life as a 30,000-day journey, divided into three equal stages. When my sister and I reached our 10,000th days soon after turning 27, he excitedly called to make sure we knew the milestone we had reached. With a sharp memory he recounted stories of his own 10,000th and 20,000th days. While we were amused by his enthusiasm for this seemingly random day, I came to realize the value of looking at life from a broader perspective. Thirty Thousand Days explores this idea of life’s three stages. In the first movement, I try to evoke the joy, innocence, and sweetness of youth. the second movement depicts struggle, coldness, and fury. Finally, the last movement imagines acceptance, resignation, loss, and love. In each movement, I constantly change the musical material so that no motive or moment is ever repeated; it is always evolving. While e may have memories, we can never again truly experience how things were.
“Thirty Thousand Days is dedicated to my father.”
Thirty Thousand Days world premiere performances were held on July 24 and 25, 2017 at Reed College Kaul Auditorium and Portland State University Lincoln Performance Hall.