In the Village of Hope

A restless (and in some ways relentless) virtuosic harp solo performed by noted harpist Tasha Smith Godínez, who commissioned the work. This piece is unlike anything else in the solo harp repertoire, though not unlike some of Byron's other recent work, such as his Book of Horizons for pianist Joseph Kubera.

Byron writes about the music: “In the Village of Hope is a piece of unabashed virtuosity. Its complex temporal structure and intricate counterpoint vie for the listener’s attention. Pitch resources are limited to diatonic collections, enabling harmonic relationships to seamlessly cycle through seven contiguous key changes. With a sound reminiscent of wind chimes, it yields fields of harmonic stasis—that mysterious circumstance of individual notes diverging and merging to form a delicate fabric of sound.”

Byron is a long-time associate of the Cold Blue; his music has appeared on four of the label's previous CDs. In the Village of Hope is a 20-minute CD single/EP.

"In the Village of Hope simultaneously lulls and rouses the listener with elegantly cascading counterpoint and lush harmonies animated by complex rhythms. Its kaleidoscopic variations evoke ethereal wind chimes, rendering both the calm and the storm in a single gesture.”—Eric Smigel, author of James Tenney (Univ. of Illinois Press)

"Byron creates maximalist effect out of minimalist means." —ClassicalNet

"There is a dark allure to Michael Byron’s music, a seductive otherness that leads, through fascination, to a gently disturbing ambiguity of emotion." —Dusted magazine

"One is reminded not only of the time-bound nature of sculpture (one must move around a piece to fully experience it), but the mobiles of Alexander Calder, which are both fixed and moving. And, like Calder's work, Byron's music is immediately comprehensible and beautiful, while it remains experimental." —Dean Suzuki, San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Michael Byron's music . . . can sway in the direction of shimmering minimalism, or turn to a more rigorous and near-frantic method of composition. . . . Truly bewitching . . . an intriguing mix of tranquillity and restlessness, hot and cold, highs and lows." —Incursion Music Review

"Byron’s music…as it calms you, it plants seeds of doubt, even disturbance in your head. One eye might close, but the other remains nervously scanning the horizon.”—Fanfare