Many thanks to Dr. Jorge Muñiz and the players of Ensemble Concept/21 for their great performance of my piece, Ex unum. It was featured in a concert on April 7th, 2017 as a celebration of Indiana and IU. I was honored to be included in that celebration.
Ex unum's premiere performance was at the Atlantic Music Festival 2013, in Waterville, Maine.
In the early months of the year 2013, as is expected during “cold season” in the midwest, I became ill. Instead of resting my cold away, I was at the piano improvising on a motive that was simply three notes, an inversion of a minor triad, that in and of itself is of little significance. However, that basic melodic gesture resonated with me. I jotted the motive down, with full expectation that I would eventually come back to it. When presented with a small chamber ensemble to compose for, I thought the intimacy of such a simple gesture would be greatly suited for such an instrumentation.
As I progress in my compositional journey, I am in pursuit of the raw elements of my voice. Clarity and simplicity are such elements and this small motive embodied that. I chose the title Ex unum (translated, “From one”) because at the center of this piece is one simple motive. In my life and in my work, I desire to be a man of oneness; of integrity. I strive for the core of my being to be evident and consistent, not a man of duplicity, but of singular focus and drive. Regardless of this desire, I have my moments of complacency and lack of focus. However, it is at our physically vulnerable and weak moments that we also discover our emotional and psychological weaknesses, out of which comes a moment to re-examine ourselves. This music is a depiction of my own self-reflection. May it serve as an encouragement to those who, in spite of weakness and shortcoming, are pursuing integrity as their primary and singular focus.
This performance was recorded at Indiana University South Bend at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts and is being used with the permission of IU South Bend.