Urban Canticle

Program note

Gates of Light was composed for the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal workshop at the University of Toronto, 2006. This workshop afforded me the opportunity to experiment with a number of techniques I had never used but was intrigued by, including an adventurous rhythmic drive, saturated counterpoint, and a generally ‘spiky’ pitch palette, all contributing to an aggressively non-tonal discourse. The title was influenced partly by the phrase “light at the end of the tunnel,” meaning the peace attained at the end of a lengthy period of ordeal. Far from being comforting or luminous, however, Gates of Light dwells on the ‘tunnel’ itself, twisting and churning vertiginously toward an uncertain goal.

- Kevin Lau (2006)


Year of composition
C flute /
B-flat clarinet /
Violin /
Cello /
Piano /

Last performances