Program Notes: Vicious Circles is a nine-minute orchestral work that explores a number of cyclical music ideas, each looping back on itself. The title refers to a chain of events in which the response to one difficulty creates a new problem that aggravates the original difficulty, resulting in an endlessly repeating loop. An example from The Little Prince:
'I am drinking,' answered the drunkard lugubriously.
'Why are you drinking?' the little prince asked.
'In order to forget,' replied the drunkard.
'To forget what?' enquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.
'To forget that I am ashamed,' the drunkard confessed, hanging his head.
'Ashamed of what?' asked the little prince who wanted to help him.
'Ashamed of drinking!' concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into total silence.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery