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Archaic Smile

Of his new "Archaic Smile", Sharman has written: "The music's title refers to the enigmatic smile on ancient Greek statues. What do the Kouros' and Kores' smiles mean? None of us knows. Are they smiles of serenity or private knowledge? Are they touched by the divine?

"I called this piece "Archaic Smile" because it is a kind of Scherzo, a musical form, familiar from the symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler, which allows the composer to engage in enigmatic forms of play. One of the main features of this piece is a recurring figure which suggests a descending Baroque sequence, first played by the full brass section. This sequence occurs seven times in different guises and colours. Another element of the work is the repeated use of the harmonic series, a phenomenon in music as natural as the rainbow and as ancient as the stars."

"Archaic Smile" was written as part of Dr. Sharman's residency with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and was first performed by the VSO conducted by Sergiu Comissiona January 9, 1998, at Massey Theatre, New Westminster. It was commissioned in part with funds from the British Columbia Arts Council.

- Hugh Davidson