Remnants of the Sunken Cathedral (2014)

for electric guitar and marimba

Remnants of the Sunken Cathedral was commissioned by the Liminal Space contemporary ensemble in 2013.

One of the more influential pieces of music written by one of my undergraduate professors was Rob Maggio’s Bacarole (seven mad gods who rules the sea).  The compositional structure takes the musical material of Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words, deconstructs it, and then uses the deconstructed material as the slowly developing palette for the piece until it leads to a powerful emotional climax that resolves itself with the original Song Without Words played as the epilogue.

This concept, one that I sometimes refer to as a “reverse development”, is something I’ve used in several of my pieces, and it felt like an appropriate technique to use as a basis for this piece – a tribute to one of my favorite piano solo composers who heavily influenced my youth, and a tribute to one of my favorite of his compositions to both play and to hear.  La cathédrale engloutie, or The Sunken Cathedral, resonates so strongly with my emotional core with its beauty and its simultaneous simplicity and complexity, and this commission gave me the opportunity to express my love for the piece in my own unique way – an interpretation that I hope stands enough on its own as well as doing justice to the original.

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