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The Five Stages of Loss
“The 5 Stages of Loss” was composed in New York City in 2014. I based the idea of this song cycle on the attempt to express each of the emotional stages that someone may experience when faced with impending death or death of a beloved one. The five stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Those emotional stages together are known as the KüblerRoss model. This model was first introduced by Swiss-American Psychiatrist Elisabeth KüblerRoss in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying,” and was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. I wrote one song per emotional stage, and I wrote the texts based on what someone experiencing one of those stages may feel, think, and say. In honor to all of those who are gone, I dedicate this work to all of those who lost someone in their lives. Each movement can be performed separately, and the order can be different from the order on the score. However, I would like to suggest that any performance of this work begins with the conductor announcing a minute silence in honor to all of those who are already gone. At that moment, everyone in the choir and in the audience is invited to think about any loss that may have experienced in their lives.
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Soft Rains
I composed Soft Rains in New York City in 2015. This piece was commissioned by the Metropolitan State University of Denver Women’s Chamber Choir. The original poem is entitled “There Will Come Soft Rains”, and it was written by Sara Teasdale. The poem is part of her collection “Flame and Shadow”, published in 1920. The poem imagines nature reclaiming a battlefield after the fighting is finished. It also alludes to the idea of human extinction by war. Among many music elements used to underline the meaning of the words, right in the beginning of the piece the word “soft” is articulated in different moments by each voice part. That effect gives to the audience a sense of a soft rain coming and going. This piece was premiered by MSU of Denver Women’s Chamber Choir in October 2015 in Denver, Colorado. Jay Dougherty was the conductor.
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Duo Seraphim
Duo Seraphim Duo seraphim clamabant alter ad alterum: Sanctus Dominus Deus Saboath. Plena est omnis terra gloria ejus. Tres sunt, qui testimonium dant in coelo: Pater, Verbum et Spiritus Sanctus: Et hi tres unum sunt. Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Plena est omnis terra gloria ejus. English Translation: Two seraphim cried to one another: Holy is the Lord God of Sabaoth. The whole earth is full of his glory. There are three who bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: And these three are one. Holy is the Lord God of Sabaoth. The whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:3)
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