The title comes from a line in a poem by Longfellow entitled “Keats,” commemorating the poet who died so young with his most famous poem, Endymion. The myth of Endymion is to me (and to Longfellow apparently) a perfect metaphor for dying young. The Moon, Selene, fell in love with Endymion, and because she could not bear the idea of his death, put him to sleep forever, beautiful in his youth.
Enymion’s Sleep is about the pain of loss and the perseverance of memory, keeping in our hearts those of our loved ones taken away from this world so young, beautiful in their youth, now sleeping Endymion’s Sleep. - J. Mark Scearce, composer
I first encountered J. Mark Scearce’s music when I was looking for a composer to work with me on The Kreutzer Sonata which I created in 2000. He did a brilliant job of bridging his original music with Janacek’s and Beethoven’s for that ballet. We have been friends and mutual admirers ever since.
On hearing Endymion’s Sleep I found myself getting all choked up. The music is like a sustained sigh of grief that lasts eight minutes. At the time, I was in the middle of reading Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking, and she speaks of everything seeming to be perfectly all right one minute and the next minute a wave of grief, shortness of breath and unbearable feeling in one’s gut taking over, in short the insufferable loss that comes over us when someone close to us dies all too soon. —Robert Weiss