I have lived my whole life thus far (just over twenty-nine years) in various locales in Illinois. I was born in the rural town of Morris (once the largest grain exporter in the world), educated in mid-sized city Bloomington, and was married and currently reside in Chicago. I have sipped in bars and driven past barns and lands from Woodstock to Vienna, and despite its dysfunctions the state remains very special to me.
When I was approached to write this piece, from the very start Susan Licciardi’s texts were to be the core and inspiration of the work. Susan spent her childhood in Galena, then lived much of her early adult life traveling and learning about the world. In the end she settled in Chicago, what she has called “the perfect city to live in” and has left these texts as a memoir of her experiences. Her work, Bars and Barns, is a deeply affecting collection of reminiscences on the locales she has visited in her time.
In writing the music, I wanted to try and do justice to Susan’s vision and experiences as well as reflect on the things I have learned myself over the years of residing in the Midwest and traveling beyond.
This music was commissioned by Patrick Godon and the International Chamber Artists in Chicago. Of special note – it is their very first commission. I am deeply honored and humbled to have been entrusted with this distinction.
Instrumentation – ob, bsn, hn, tbn, pno, sop, vla, vlc
Duration – 40 minutes