Year: 2009

Heading: for 20 musicians

Movement Titles:
1. Tahiti -Papeete
2. Moorea -green cliffs
3. Raiatea -town square
4. Bora Bora -lagoon
5. Tahaa -white sand
6. Maupiti -by the reef
7. Huahine -under the moonlight
8. Farewell

First Performance:
June 10, 2009
Ensemble 10/10 (of the Liverpool Philharmonic)/ Clark Rundell
The Cornerstone, Liverpool, England


Duration: 35'

Recording: tahiti

Torke says, “I have always wanted to write a composition that would inspire a woman, coming home from a long day of work, to draw a bath, light candles, and listen to it on her pink iPod.” ...he may very well have achieved it in places on this disc. Torke was an unapologetically “listenable” composer before that was fashionable. —Andrew Sigler, New Music Box

Program Note:
Each of the movements reminisces a feeling of the individual islands that make up the Society Islands in the South Pacific, which we generally refer to as Tahiti.

A certain humidity, along with the lush landscape, water-life, white sand, and palm trees brings relief, a kind of peace to a hurried soul.

Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, sees it this way: "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!"

The movements grow from a melodic idea (rather than a rhythmic or harmonic idea, like much of my other music) and undergoes a development; the first and third movements have the most extended treatment.

A bias of orchestration is to limit the string writing to four parts, with a pair of woodwinds doubling the top part, much in the way Bach does in his Orchestral Suites.