Somewhere off the coast of Ireland lies an island surrounded in mystery.  It only appears to adventurous sailors once every seven years.  As the mists surrounding the island dissipate, Hy-Brasil tantalizingly appears, but this paradise cannot be reached.

This legend was the basis for my 2006 tone poem, Hy-Brasil. It is one of my few stand alone orchestral works (having shifted my focus towards writing for wind bands since then).  I composed the work in a flurry of composition that produced several other works.  It is also my most conservative scoring of any of my large works.


  • 2 Flutes (=2 Piccolos)
  • Alto Flute
  • Oboe d’Amore
  • English Horn
  • 2 A Clarinets
  • Bass Clarinet
  • 2 Bassoons
  • Contrabassoon
  • 4 Horns
  • 2 C Trumpets
  • 2 Tenor Trombones
  • Bass Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Timpani
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Harp
  • Organ
  • Male Chorus
  • Strings

The work largely stems from the mysterious mists of the island.  The male chorus represents the souls of the countless sailors who lost their lives while searching for Hy-Brasil. Only briefly towards the end, does the listener get a glimpse of the glory of the island, only to have that vision fade away into nothingness.  That fleeting vision is heralded by an extended solo for the pipe organ that swells to the only true forte in the work.