for clarinet, concertina, ‘cello, baritone and video projection
commissioned with support from the McKnight Foundation
I have created a video of images that are inspired by the poem Stained Glass by Elizabeth Oness and I have composed a score with baritone voice to accompany the performance of the video. The video features an audio of the poet’s voice in the setting of her words, I have sinned in my thoughts and in my words, for what I have done and what I have failed to do. This piece explores the duality of the stained glass as a representation of nature and as a window into our souls. The stained glass that the poet references is far from the gothic church windows so characteristic to the great Catholic churches of Europe. Stained glass in the architecture of the upper Midwest is distinctly a reflection of the expanding commerce of the 20th century and the images that are set in the glass take the colors and designs suggested by the vast prarie landscape and the breadth of the Mississipi River. I have used images in this video from a particular stained glass work of grand proportions: the Tau Center stained glass designed by Robert Leader and manufactured by Reinart Stained Glass of Winona, MN. The design in this 600 foot long piece constructed in sections that span the circumference of the round structure that it was commissioned for, depicts the life of St. Francis. Blending the symbols of nature as depicted in this stained glass with the images of the backwaters of the Mississippi illuminates the poet’s belief in the sanctity of nature as the true realm of divine redemption.
Audio From the premiere
Premiered at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum
October 2009. Dan Sheridan, clarinet; Devin McCabe, concertina; Derek Clark, cello; Patrick O’Shea, baritone;
Trompe de l’oei