Concerto for Hammond Organ, Orchestra, Vocal Quartet and Chorus

(2019)

Instrumentation:   

2[1.2/pic.] 2[1.2/Eh] 2[1.2/bcl] 2[1.2/cbn]-4/2/2/1-tmp+4-hp-pno-egtr-bgtr-4solo (sop., mz.sop, ten., bar.)-chorus-str

[Not yet premiered]

Throughout the many eras of history, artists have presented genuine, visceral symbolic reflections and commentary upon their moment in history; creating time capsules for future generations to study and learn from. Today, as a composer of color living in the United States, I find myself doing the same, preceded by a deep history shrouded in darkness and struggle, but also great courage and light. The results of such a history present America with many challenges, but a generation of people more determined and capable of rising up to take them head on. I join other musicians, poets, painters, authors not only as a recorder of the times, but as a vehicle of change. I join the people who seek to create a future of enlightenment, spread visions of equity, hope and prosperity. This work is a celebration of not only how far we've come, but how far we still have to go for our nation to fully live up to its proposed ideals.

 

I could think of no better instrument to capture this musical depiction that the Hammond Organ. It is rooted in so many home-grown musical genres of American music. It is unique in that it can tell a thousand narratives with its sound alone. Its sound is synonymous with the experience of my family and I, growing up deeply embedded in the traditions of the Black church in Birmingham, AL. That sound continuously brings you to the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, where echoes of freedom ring ceaselessly. Through this sonic world, I seek to inspire my listeners to search their hearts for the humanity that binds us all.   

I invite you to take a look at the short series I made, The Hammond Concerto Project, which highlights the creation of this work and an in depth understanding of the personal journey this piece has led me on during my continued artistic endeavor to make the world a more inclusive place through the gift of music.

Duration: 43:00