till heavens changed have their course (2017)

till heavens changed have their course was written for the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and was premiered on Pulsar festival in Copenhagen in 2018.

The piece is essentially a constantly rising glissando. It is regularly broken up with a quotation to the John Dowland song Time stands still, which gets corrupted and distorted with each repetition. The piece’s title comes from the lyrics of the quoted part: ‘till heavens changed have their course and time hath lost his name’.

The piece was inspired by Shephard tone, which is an auditory illusion where the feeling of an endless glissando is created by stacking upward-glissing sine waves in octaves, essentially creating the aural equivalent of a barber’s pole.