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Innova Release: Jeff Myers | ‘Requiem’

May 31

MAY 31: Innova Release: Jeff Myers | Requiem


I. Kyrie eleison
II. Nay, Lord, not thus (Oscar Wilde)
III. Nebeltag (Frida Schanz)
IV. Di me non pianger tu (Petrarch)
V. Momento Mori

VI. Christe eleison
VII. Pagtulog na, Nene (Philippine traditional)
VIII. Go and Die (Rumi)
IX. Kyrie eleison II – Ma Vie (Henri Michaux) – Requiem aeternam


After the sudden death of a close family member, I decided to embark on a project that could help me express and articulate my response to death and the grieving process. As a composer, I wanted to use my creative capacity to create a memorial. The Requiem has long served as the classical composer’s medium of choice for large-scale funeral works. In the past, works would use the traditional texts form the Catholic Mass. As a person without any religious affiliation, I wanted to create something that explored death from multiple perspectives (different cultures, languages, eras). This relativistic approach to death expresses my cultural agnosticism: since I do not wholly embrace any of the traditional death narratives, I wanted the audience to experience multiple perspectives and draw their own conclusions.

I chose poems from Oscar Wilde, Frida Schanz, Petrarch, Rumi, and Henri Michaux, as well as phrases from the Catholic Mass, and a Filipino lullaby. The texts range in subject: the end of days, a funereal morning, the grieving process/speaking to the departed, sleep as death/the death of a child, the ecstasy of entering heaven, profound sadness, and cries of despair. My musical style changes from song to song, but there is a close relationship to choral church music from the Renaissance and Medieval eras. The use of microtones and other unusual harmonic techniques appear throughout, depicting the spectre and mystery of death.

With such a personal project, I wanted to work closely with friends: Rachel Calloway and the JACK Quartet. I wanted an intimate concert with artists that could sing and play my music with the sensitivity that it requires. I also wanted new music specialists that could interpret my music with musicality and knowledge of special techniques such as just intonation tuning.

This requiem is dedicated to Lynda Garcia (1977-2010)


May 31


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