I wrote this piece while thinking about the philosophical argument of “the problem of evil,” which asks the question of how a loving God could exist with the presence of evil in the world. I present the hymn tune in such a way that if you know the it, you will hear it all throughout; if you do not know the tune, it will be more difficult to find a sense of musical continuity.
All of the musical material is built from a reorganization of the hymn tune, through rhythmic changes, octave displacement, bitonal juxtapositions, and more. The title comes from the text of “Eternal Father Strong to Save,” where the author prays “O, hear us when we cry to Thee for those in peril on the sea.”
Commissioned by two musician friends who are originally from Oregon, this five-movement work is based on scenic images and landscapes from their home state. Starting with the "painted hills", the piece essentially moves westward, concluding with the "coastal sunset" on the Pacific Ocean. Each movement is based on my interpretations of the images I saw and the descriptions I was given.