Falling Dream was commissioned by the BMI Foundation Inc./Carlos Surinach Fund for the 25th Anniversary of the American Composers Orchestra. The American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Carnegie Hall, New York City premiered it on April 10, 2002.
The piece was written in the months immediately after 9/11. Its composition was initially inspired by news footage I saw in which a couple leaped from one of the burning towers holding hands. For months I was incapable of getting the image out of my head. It was so poetic in both its horror and beauty that I almost couldn’t justify a musical reaction to it. However I eventually found a way to illustrate the experience in extreme slow motion by creating a counterpoint of two slowly descending melodies, heard first at the beginning of the work. Episodes fade in and out of this slow descent like memories, but the illusion I wanted to create is that the falling never really ceases. The last section of the piece is, by contrast, a slowly building ascent which has no programmatic relevance but whose majestic quality functions as a message of hope.