Omnipresence - for Percussion Ensemble and SATB Choir (2015)
Omnipresence for Percussion Ensemble and SATB Choir represents the idea of an all powerful, omnipresent being; or a God. The piece does not subject itself to a specific religion’s idea of an omnipresent being but serves more as a “what-if” to the possibility of its existence. The unfathomable wrath as well as the pure compassion that this being would be capable of would not be comprehendible to beings like us. Its incredible power would be overwhelmingly humbling and is a haunting matter to try and comprehend. This piece represents everything from this being’s rage with powerful, metallic percussion passages and intense harmonies, to its mercy and benevolence represented in angelic sounding orchestration between bowed mallet percussion and the beauty of the human voice.
The text in this piece is influenced by verses from different religious texts and also features primal syllabic chanting as well as single words relating to the subject. In the softer section of the piece, there is a quote from the Lacrimosa of Guiseppe Verdi’s Requiem Mass.
I chose to use a quote from Verdi’s Requiem after learning about the prisoners in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War 2. These Jewish prisoners performed Verdi’s version of a Catholic Requiem Mass for the Nazi guards as an act of defiance and to represent triumph over brutality. The timbre from the chain during this part of the piece is meant to represent their imprisonment. This act resonated with me because it reminds us of how, a lot like music, religion and faith are culturally universal, and in the end, we all just want the same thing. This bigger picture on the idea of a God perfectly represents the subject matter of this piece.
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