Alleluia (2012)

This music was composed during a peaceful stay at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  While sitting at the piano used by Leonard Bernstein, Meredith Monk, and many other composers whom I’ve admired, a chord appeared under my hands, remembered from a piece I’d written five years before.  This chord, heard in the above recording at 1'45", kept returning to my ears and under my hands as I attempted to work on other projects.  I was at MacDowell with the primary purpose of composing Étude, an intense string quartet.  Listening to these two side-by-side gives a glimpse into my syncretic musical worldview.  Finally, I gave in and began to work on this piece, framing it around that chord, and attempting to keep the music as simple as possible in order to most purely express the text.  Strangely, upon investigating the piece from which I’d stolen the chord, I discovered it was nowhere to be found...  While resting on the porch of Watson Studio, where I lived for two months, a moth fluttered about my hands, a pileated woodpecker soared above, and a young doe strolled unafraid only a few feet from me.  Alleluia arose naturally from this time of tranquility and immense gratitude. Fellow composer Sydney Guillaume championed the work and conducted its premiere performance in February 2013.  Further gratitude is extended to him for helping bring the piece to life!

© 2019 by Ben Hjertmann, all rights reserved.