Terra Liberi | Pierrot + Percussion

Terra Liberi | Pierrot + Percussion



Instrumentation: Pierrot + Percussion

Duration: 12 Minutes, Six Movements

Commissioned By: Collage New Music

Program Notes: TERRA LIBERI consists of six movements named in Latin, drawn from phenomena found in the natural world: CAELUM (sky), REBOARE (celestial thunder), ROS (dew), ZEPHYR (west wind), UTEM (starlight), and TERRA (earth). The first and last movement (sky and earth) are very similar to each other, differing only in tessitura: the first movement has many notes high up in the instruments’ ranges whereas the last movement keeps mainly to the collective lower-middle range of the ensemble. This was a conscious decision on my part: to frame the piece in such a way to usher the audience into an experience which would start aloft, elevated, and gently descend throughout the twelve minute piece, settling into a place that is grounded, centered.

Terra Liberi (loose translation from Latin: Children of Earth) speaks directly from the heart of one who has recently left childhood’s warm, wonder-filled arms. My life has since become one immersed in technology, one of a big-city graduate student who spends most of her time looking at a screen, writing words and writing music. I often miss the “simple” joys of experiencing nature’s nuanced phenomena. In searching for a subject matter for this work I came upon memories of interactions with nature when I was a child, and decided to pursue a set of miniatures (several short movements) for this commission for Collage New Music.

A few memories in specific that I wove into this piece: Seeing the sky turning an angry, electric green color during a tornado. Running outside before a rainstorm to greet the distant rumbling of thunder clouds marching triumphantly across the sky. Seeing the bright Bethlehem star in the late 90s. Arriving to school in the morning when the sun was still glinting off of the dewed grass. Rolling down the hill in my back hard and lying on the grass, staring up at the domed sky above me, seeing if I could orient my brain in such a way to feel the earth’s rotation below me, carrying me so gently on its upturned belly. As you listen to this piece, I would ask for you to see if there are similar memories that begin to arise in your own mind, for I believe that these experiences are the natural inheritance of children in any era across time. 

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