Rehearsals have been underway for the past week and a half, and De Profundis is starting to sound like an actual piece of music (!) — encouraging. I have received several comments about the impressiveness of having actually corralled fifteen people into one room in order to make it happen, but better yet I’ve gotten comments from several performers about how much they like the piece. It is very difficult, so these comments are that much more appreciated when I know performers are sweating over some sections.
So I invite you who are nearby to the premiere this coming Monday, April 7, at 8pm. The performance will be in Sursa Hall at Ball State University as the opening of the Student Composers Forum. Given the distance and the Monday-ness of the concert, I don’t imagine I’ll see many (or any) people from out of town, but I will have a recording of the concert, and with luck also a video to share.
Because I’ve been asked by a couple of people about the meaning of it all, I’ve pasted my program notes for De Profundis below. Enjoy.
“While it has fallen into relative disuse recently, the text for De Profundis (Psalm 130 in Latin) was frequently set to music by composers in the past. It is a psalm of lament, meant to be prayed both for oneself and for others, and it is in this spirit that I approached this composition.
De Profundis is both a prayer—for the refugee, the orphan, the hopeless, indeed for all who suffer—and a promise. From its opening cry out of the depths to its closing glimpse of redemption and restoration, it is in the tension between these two poles that we live and wait. The stanzas of the psalm are unfolded gradually in a musical structure meant to mirror the text itself: from the small seed motive that sets the introduction in motion to the work taken as a whole, each aspect of De Profundis was conceived of as an upward sweep—out of the depths into unearthly light.”