The Heart of God
Performance of The Heart of God by the Illinois State University Symphonic Winds, Dr. Steven Steele conductor
November 17, 2009
Performance of The Heart of God by the University of Alabama-Huntsville Wind Ensemble, Dr. C. David Ragsdale conductor
November 11, 2007
Premiere of The Heart of God by the Illinois State University Symphonic Band, Dr. Daniel Belongia conductor
The Heart of God is a reflective piece. The title is derived from a dream I had. In this dream I was in space and before me was an enormous ball of pulsating fire. It was like our sun, but much bigger. As I looked at this burning ball of energy I realized it was alive and that it was pulsating, like a heart. As I continued to look the star opened and inside was the universe, everything that is, everything that has been, everything that will be. I had the feeling that this was the heart of God, everything that is and we’re at the center of it. This is where my thinking on this piece began.
Having said that, there is a lot of struggle in the piece. In my feeling for it, it is the struggle of God trying to make contact with us, pursuing us, calling out again and again, waiting for an answer. It is the passionate pursuit of man by God.
Musically all of this plays itself out in the persistent eighth, dotted-sixteenth rhythm that pervades the piece, that is the heartbeat motif. The low brasses present the pursuit theme beginning in m. 80, which is then picked up and expanded up by the ensemble for the rest of the piece.
The Heart of God is dedicated to Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, Assistant Director of Bands at Illinois State University and to the consortium members.