- For large orchestra
- Year of completion: 2005
- Duration: 10 minutes
- Performances: Unperformed
- Instrumentation: 3 Fl (3rd dbl. Picc.), 3 Ob, 2 Cl, Bs Cl, 3 Bsn (3rd dbl. Cbsn), 4 Hn, 3 Tpt, 2 Trbn, Bs Trbn, Tba, 4 Perc (Timp, Vibr, Mba, Crotales, Chimes, Sus Cym, Tamtam, Bongo, Conga, GC), Hp, Clsta, Strings
Composer's program note: In 2001 I made an unforgettable visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy, where I was awestruck by the mosaics excavated from Pompeii. In an up-close examination of works like the two-story-high Battle of Issus, I was amazed at how an image of such complexity, such dimension, such realism, could be constructed out of tiny, uniform cubes of stone called "tesserae." That very musical Greek word suggested a piece of orchestral music in which large-scale phrases, or images, are formed from the interaction of small homogeneous cells. I sketched out a series of sections in which individual musical pitches, like tesserae in a mosaic, are systematically added to, and removed from, the overall texture. With Tesserae I intended, as I had done with the Naples mosaics, to explore where the individual tesserae end and the epic image begins.