Fountain of Dreams

Year Composed: 2005
Instrumentation: 3(III=picc).2(II=EH).2.2./ perc/hp/strings
Duration 10 minutes

Audio Excerpts (MP3)

Program Notes

“Fountain of Dreams” is based upon a short story I wrote about a child who, lying snug in his bed one night, is swept away on a surrealistic journey. The bed soars high above cliffs, valleys, a sea of clouds, and a forest of mountain-sized pillars. Ribbons of fire and waterfalls that dance in mid-air surround him. At the climax of the journey the child approaches an archipelago of islands in the sky. He is greeted by a host of flying beds, children sharing the same adventure, the same dream.

The piece is a musical depiction of a voyage through the world of fantasy. It is a tribute to our collective imaginations and shared sense of wonder. In this piece I sought to organize a variety of musical elements—themes, motives, and allusions to different stylistic modes—into an organically coherent whole. There are three main themes: the “soaring” theme, with its heroic leap of a fifth to the octave; a more lyrical “journey” theme, and finally, a tranquil, quasi-archaic theme that appears almost toward the end of the piece depicting vast and ancient columns of stone. I was inspired by the seeming coherence of dreams, which make sense (at least while we experience them) despite being comprised of associations from reality that are often highly irrational or contradictory.


  • March 25, 2006 - Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Barnum. Living Arts Centre, Mississauga
  • January 31, 2009 - University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alain Trudel. MacMillan Theatre, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

Commisions and Awards

  • winner of the First Annual Mississauga Symphony Orchestra Emerging Composers Award (2005)
  • winner of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra Composers' Competition (2008/2009)

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