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Wired Goddess

    Taos Studio Photos Poetry Trombone Class Miscellaneous

 

 

The Land of Journeys' Ending

 

For baritone/counter tenor, baritone, flute (with piccolo and alto flute,

trombone (with alto trombone,) piano (with a small pedal harmonium)

and three percussion. 

 

This work was premiered in 1974 at the University of Pennsylvania by the new music ensemble Relâche conducted by Joseph Showalter.

 

Page 6 from the score.  Click the image to download the full size page.

 

Click here to download the PDF score.  The paper size is 17 x 22 inches. (43.5 x 55.5 cm.)

 

Out of the desert floor of Northern New Mexico rises a rugged, stark mountain range called the Sangre de Christos. The isolation of the mountains is dotted with small adobe villages containing descendants of the original Spanish settlers of New Mexico from 400 years ago.  Among these people exists a mystic Catholic lay organization known as the Brothers of Light, also referred to as the Penitentes. Their religious expression strongly alludes to the region's Franciscan heritage and includes rituals involving self-flagellation and mystical reenactments of the crucifixion of Christ.

This work, based on Psalm XXII, distantly alludes to their rituals and is above all an expression of respect for the Brothers of Light and their mystical devotion.  Their rituals, architecture, and livelihood involve the stark, simple lives of mountain farmers.  Their religion can be seen as springing straight from the earth. It is the simple voice of the wind, the call of a mourning dove, or the color of the earth that can reflect their proximity to the eternal.  One need only hear their haunting folk-rendering of Gregorian chant or the stark, terse wailing of their rustic wooden flutes piercing the night air of their outdoor rituals to be convinced of this.  This work is an expression of my hope that that their fragile culture will be preserved.


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Wired Goddess

    Taos Studio Photos Poetry Trombone Class Miscellaneous