Passacaglia for Orchestra (2014-15)
for Chamber/ Mid-sized Orchestra
Premired by the St. Olaf Philharmonia, conducted by Martin Hodel (November 2015).
Performed by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (under the baton of Maestro Matthew Kraemer) as part of the Earshot Readings from the American Composers Orchestra.
Winner of the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival Composition Competition in 2016.
Recording available upon request.
I wrote this piece at the request of my good friend William Harvey, who besides being a wonderful violinist, is also the founder and director of Cultures in Harmony. Since its start in 2005, Cultures in Harmony has endeavored to bring about cultural understanding through music. The organization has traveled to many countries throughout the developing world and developed a series of workshops and performances where American musicians collaborate with local communities in the performance and creation of musical works.
In music, a passacaglia is a form in which the bass line remains constant, uniting many different variations that arise from it. In a world increasingly driven by misunderstanding, music can remind us of what we share: the fundamental desire to lead our lives in peace and with mutual respect.
For its tenth anniversary, Cultures in Harmony, an American cultural diplomacy organization, traveled in 2015 to some of the countries where we have worked in the past ten years to demonstrate these connections in a project inspired by the musical form of the passacaglia. Just as the variations of a passacaglia change while the bass line (also called the “ground”) remains the same, people from all over the world embody a variety of differences yet share common values and aspirations.