magnificat 1: variations

alto flute, bass clarinet, marimba (2002)

Duration: 10:00

Recorded on i need no words Neuma 450-109

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Program Note

I composed magnificat 1, a set of continuous variations of a unison melodic line, to celebrate the founding of UMBC’s resident contemporary music ensemble Ruckus. One of the inspirations for the piece is the Virgin Mary’s opening phrase of her song to Elizabeth: “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” in which she recognizes her soul not as the essence of herself, but as a lens for something much greater. The events of September 11, 2001 also resonate in this work, as I had devoted that day to composing this piece. I sat in shock in front of the television that day reminded that terrorists also imagine their souls as lenses of God, with devastating results. As a result, magnificat 1 also incorporates the surreal state of the fall of 2001: a yearning for clarity amidst twists of distortion.