I have always loved Norton Juster’s children's novel, The Phantom Tollbooth. Having re-read the story recently, I was struck by a chapter in the where Milo has traveled into a forest and comes across an orchestra and its conductor, Chroma the Great. Chroma and his orchestra contribute color to this imaginary world. The sunset and the sunrise are both pieces that are performed every day.
I loved this idea of conducting the sunrise, of playing the color of the sky, the clouds and dayscapes. I based my small tone poem on what I imagined the sound of Chroma the Great and his orchestra would be. From sunrise to the full height of day, to clouds and storm, and finally from sunset to nightfall, where Juster’s words put it best: “The last colors slowly faded from the western sky, and, as they did, one by one the instruments stopped, until only the bass fiddles, in their somber slow movement, were left to play the night and a single set of silver bells, brightened the constellations. The conductor let his arms fall limply at his sides and stood quite still as darkness claimed the forest.”