This piece was originally written for double orchestra: the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra and the Regina Symphony Orchestra, as a commission for a special shared concert. The stage was set up to have the two orchestras placed in mirror image, thus the name, although at that time, I called the place Fantasy for Double Orchestra.
Most of the young musicians in the SSYO were studying with the musicians from the Regina Symphony so when I wrote the piece, I wanted to reflect the relationship between teacher and pupil. For instance, our harpist had an excellent student so I made the harp a featured instrument placing the harps facing each other between the two orchestras.
Karen Donnelly, who is now principal trumpet in the National Arts Centre Orchestra, was principal trumpet in the SSYO and my husband, Richard, principal trombone in the RSO, so I highlighted them by by writing a musical dialogue, the trumpet representing youth and the trombone, maturity. This was the case with the other musicians as well.
When Michael Newnham was looking through my scores for orchestral works to program during my time as Composer in Residence for Orchestra Toronto, he was taken with this piece and asked me if it would be possible to combine the two orchestras into one for Orchestra Toronto. It was quite difficult because there were so many parts, but I felt there would be more opportunities for performance in this form. Although Mirror Image is now scored for one orchestra, the sentiment of the passing from youth to maturity, remains the same.