Ecstasy in Jericho, a sonata in three movements for solo guitar, was inspired by two primary ideas – one musical and the other, extra-musical.
Each movement is preceded by a short introduction, an “Ecstasy link”. Each “link” is based on the Original Sacred Harp (1911) pentatonic tune Ecstasy.
The primary extra-musical stimulus came from the stirring paintings and poetry of Hubert Shuptrine and James Dickey as found in their book Jericho – The South Beheld. Each “link” and movement in the piece was inspired by a Shuptrine painting and, except for the final “link”, the accompanying text of Mr. Dickey. The six chosen paintings and writings concern locations in North Carolina, the native state of the composer.
The text of Mr. Dickey’s reflections, as they occur in conjunction with the paintings, appear throughout the score. The movements are named after the paintings.
I wish to extend my thanks not only to Messrs. Shuptrine and Dickey for unknowingly laying the seeds of this work, but also to Patricia Dixon who commissioned it and whose encouragement and sound advice proved most valuable.
Ecstasy in Jericho is approximately fourteen minutes in length.