Instrumentation 2(2nd dbl. picc)/2/2/2; 2(+pitchpipes)/2(+pitchpipes)/0/0; 2 perc; piano; orchestral strings
Percussion requirements (1) mba, vib, glock, gong (Bb4), chimes (share with 2), tenor dr, lion’s roar, lg. tamtam, susp. cymbal; (2) gong (D4), chimes (share with 1), 2 tomtoms (m/l), tenor dr, bass dr, lg. tamtam

Timing 12′

Composed 1995

Commissioned by Esprit Orchestra with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council

World Premiere November 19, 1995, Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Ontario. Esprit Orchestra; Alex Pauk, conductor

Performances by Esprit Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony, Orchestra London, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia

Recorded by the Thunder Bay Symphony, conducted by Geoffrey Moull, on Variations on a Memory

Recognition Juno nomination, Best Classical Composition 2005

Programme Notes

“Pangaea” is the name of the ancient theoretical single landmass which, over millions of years, split apart into the continents. To me, Pangaea provides a metaphor for the compositional process. As Pangaea contained the potential for the Earth we know, so the full palette of musical possibilities contains the potential for every piece of music. As inspirations rise to the surface, choices are made, and ideas are moved around, a score evolves. Yet that score is itself a “Pangaea”–only potential music, to be set into motion by the performers. The orchestral Pangaea journeys from the opening mass of dense sound to climactic fortissimo chords which explode into a final unison A–the orchestra’s tuning pitch.


Based on the excellence of this composer’s works throughout the [Winnipeg Symphony New Music] festival, it was clear that this year’s New Music Festival was ending on a high note. (Andrew Thompson/Winnipeg Free Press)

The composer’s intention to create an evocation of the course of geological history was quite effective. The work itself is something of a deconstructionist mass, devolving and re-evolving towards a final musical permutation founded on a solid rhythmic … base, swelling to a dramatic climax. (Steven Baric/Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal)

PDF perusal score

Pangaea perusal

Audio excerpts

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Full-size Score $72 print, $44 PDF
Study Score $44 print
Conductor score + parts available on rental
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