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Donated by Cantor Fitzgerald: a threnody is a single movement, 60-minute work for a small, mixed chamber ensemble of improvising musicians and electronics. Originally conceived in 2001 as a work for mixed chamber orchestra, and eventually evolving in scope and conception, this recording was prepared for the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Most of us will have vivid recollections of those events, and some will have significant stories of life-changing experiences. All loss of life under tragic circumstances is significant to those involved, but the story of Cantor Fitzgerald (a financial firm that lost all of its employees who were in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack) seems particularly absolute.
Sarah Ferguson was in New York's Times Square the morning of September 11, 2001, appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America, when terrorists flew hijacked planes into the World Trade Center. Her charity, Chances for Children, was located on the 101st floor of One World Trade Center, where she was late for a meeting. None of the charity's employees were trapped in the building but nearly 700 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald, the financial firm providing free office space to the duchess' charity, were killed in the aftermath of the attack.
The piece was recorded in 2011 in a highly collaborative process that involved several outstanding musicians and composers with connections to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Jorge Sosa, originally from Mexico City, is a fine electro-acoustic composer in New York City. Jorge has also been Assistant Professor of music theory and composition at Elmhurst College in Chicago. Jorge and I met as composers with works being premiered at the Electro-acoustic Juke Joint New Music Festival in Cleveland, Mississippi. The following year, I was on the search committee that hired Jorge as a music theory and history professor at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis. He has been a colleague and friend since, and this is the first of several collaborative works we have in progress. Jorge contributed a significant sonic palette to this recording as we collaborated on the composed, electronic elements of this work.
Performed by Amy Rempel (piano), Tim Hopkins (saxophone), Colin Hemmingsen (bass clarinet), Jorge Sosa (electronics), and Dave Lisik (electronics).