Leonard Enns

composer, conductor, Monarda Music

Vanishing Point


While much music proceeds to an energetic and strong ending, I have chosen to go the other direction in this work. Vanishing Point, despite its three distinct movements, is essentially one long and single journey from a beginning of intense activity to a final arrival in which everything dissolves into a single tranquil moment.  Along the way there are certainly episodes of quiet, then of renewed activity, of harmonic density, then transparency, but the overall movement is from near-frenzy to final calm.  I imagine this concluding point to be a place both of rest and potential; though it is obviously an ending, it is equally a possible starting point. It really depends on one’s perspective! One can look from the picture to the vanishing point, and--at least theoretically--one could look from the vanishing point to the details of the picture.

I have in mind the idea that everything finally has its home in ONE, and ONE is somehow at the same time the source of everything. The term vanishing point is not to mean a disappearing point, but rather the place where distinctions and details have lost their significance, where struggle and celebration are remembered but no longer relevant. I am reminded of the line from T. S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi:  “were we lead all that way for Birth …… or Death?”  At the vanishing point, perhaps, they are one and the same.

The composition was written for Lottie Enns-Braun. It was premiered in Winnipeg, Canada on 15 May 2007 by Enns-Braun (organ) and Allen Harrington (saxophone).