Thérèse’s Elevator

concerto for violin and orchestra

Performed by Alro Adams (soloist) and the Lamont Symphony Orchestra (conducted by S. Mordecai Fuhrman)

At some point in her childhood, 19th century mystic St. Thérèse of Lisieux saw one of the first elevators ever designed for everyday use. As an adult she drew on this experience in her spiritual writings, describing Christ as her “elevator to heaven.” I was intrigued by Thérèse’s use of a uniquely industrial-era metaphor to illustrate a spiritual truth, as well as the musical possibilities of pairing her elevator image with the Biblical image of Jacob’s ladder. Thérèse’s Elevator explores the sonic possibilities of blending the mechanical and the mystical, taking the solo violinist on a journey through a sometimes clunky, sometimes etherial landscape inspired by the contrasting images of an effortless elevator ride and an arduous climb.