The Gates of Horn and Ivory

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Featured Recording
David Arbury, piano
Allison Storochuk, bass clarinet
Andrew Tholl, violin

The Gates of Horn and Ivory appear in ancient Greek myth as the gates to the land of Dreams. They are depicted as two sets of gates; the first is an enormous and beautiful set of gates made from pure ivory, the second is a small gate to its side made of rather unspectacular horn. Dreams flow through the ivory gates constantly, but the latter open but rarely to release a single dream. However, it is the gates of horn that are the greater, for they release dreams of true prophecy while the lovely gates of ivory release only the stuff of idle dreams. This piece is an abstract depiction of this sight through the eyes of a dreamer. Some themes depict the gates, others the dreams themselves, still others the dreamer. The gentle listener should be cautioned, however, that attempts to perfectly determine the “identity” of any given theme might prove as fruitless as drawing meaning from a dream from the gates of ivory.

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