All Rise: Movement 12 - I Am (Don’t You Run From Me)
Luigi suggested that I pick 14 of my compositions that I feel are relevant to the holiday season and have some degree of sophistication. We will post these pieces from 7 days before Christmas through to the New Year. I have picked pieces that span my career and we will culminate with some unreleased sections of the Abyssinian Mass which will be available in the New Year.
This first selection, the last movement of All Rise, is in honor of the great maestro Kurt Masur.
He passed away this morning at 3:03. I only wrote All Rise, my most ambitious piece, because the Maestro kept after me to write a piece for the New York Philharmonic. It may seem odd to begin a celebration this way but in the New Orleans tradition, we simultaneously mourn and celebrate. The Maestro was a source of inspiration and encouragement for me, and his kind words and nourishing advice will stay with me to the end of my life. I’d like to extend deep condolences to his beautiful wife Tomoko, and their son conductor, singer and (trumpeter) Ken-David, and his wife, Melinda Lee; his daughters, Angelika and Carolin; his sons, Michael and Matthias; and his nine grandchildren and all extended family of musicians and artists that loved and respected him.
This is the last movement of All Rise it is a prayer of thanks and identity. There is a repetition of the great I AM and it utilizes traditional Western Harmonies, Blues Harmony, an African 6/8, the American Gospel 12/8, Middle Eastern melodic modes and ethnic hand drumming.
The choir sings Thy Will Be Done and Look Beyond and ends with a New Orleans Parade Song which always means Everything is Gonna be Alright. Which I did, still do and will always believe.