WHO WE ARE > COMMISSIONS > Emily Millard

Towards the Light

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2022

Emily Millard, composer

Emily Carr, text

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NOTES

Towards the Light takes its text from the journals of the great painter Emily Carr. A passionate observer, Carr immersed herself in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest Coast. One hundred years later, Carr’s reflections on nature burn with a hopeful relevance.

And people curse this great force, curse it for a useless litter because it yields no income. Run fire through this green sea, burn it, break it, make it black and frightful, tear out its roots! Leave it unguarded, forsaken, and from the bowels of the earth rushes again the great green ocean of growth.

(Hundreds and Thousands, Douglas & McIntyre, 1966)

I wanted to work with a range of textures to represent the varied experiences of nature that Carr describes: the mysterious entanglement of living systems; the humbling strength of the elements; the futile desire to control nature; and a way to be with, and find awe in, the natural world.

‘Towards the Light’ is dedicated to Emily Carr whose 150th anniversary coincided with the completion of this piece, and whose work continues to inspire reverence for the wilderness. (EM)

The commission of Emily Millard was generously supported by the SOCAN Foundation. 

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