The idea for Galactic Rounds came from the motions of celestial bodies, interlocking circles of various sizes moving constantly in and out of phase with one another. The musical vehicle for this motion is the classical round, expressed in terms of 'information banks' - single notes or groups which are reiterated according to a variety of rules. Players have considerable autonomy in that they must maintain the circular motion of their sections in a constantly shifting and often contradictory environment. The trumpets and trombones, widely dispersed throughout the orchestra create Doppler shifts by rotating 360 degrees on themselves.
"accessible, clear, often brilliant ...the tone seems to be flung from one instrument to another ...the effect is both dramatic and musical and makes a metaphysical point, as well." —Charles Shere, Oakland Tribune
" ...an impressive accomplishment. It is an unusual sight these days to see a symphony audience cheer a new work and recall the composer four times at the conclusion of the performance. ...his idea is strikingly carried out and when he introduces a theatrical element — trumpeters and trombonists describing a 360 degree arc with the bells of their instruments, creating a Doppler effect — it does not jar, but emerges as a logical extension of what has gone before. With its consistent musical vocabulary, consistently employed, its clear development, its apposite orchestration and, not least, its emotional communication, it is an especially successful piece of new music."
—Michael Walsh, San Francisco Examiner