Mea Maxima Culpa

for ‘cello and digital acoustics.

commissioned by the McKnight Foundation

Mea Maxima Culpa can be translated from the latin as ‘most grevious fault’. This pieces also incorporates the recitation of the poem “The Shaft” by poet Brooke Kramer in a processed and enhanced presentation of her dramatic reading of this narative poem. The poet has created a haunting dramatizaion of the true story about a priest who has an affair with a nun. The nun gives birth to their daughter and the priest, after falsely assuring the mother that he will find a home for the child, murders the child by throwing it down the elevator shaft in the convent where she resides. She commits suicide by throwing herself down four flights of stairs. The author creates a emotionally rich inner and outer dialogue between the two main characters Will and Ruth that I have echoed in the digital part. The cello part serves to thread the various scenes together and driving the dramatic tension to a musical climax.

Audio from the premiere

premiered at the Celebration of Words, Music, and Image Concert on October 11th, 2010 Derek Clark, ‘cello and the voice of Brooke Kramer reading her poem Mea Maxima Culpa.

Mea Maxima Culpa

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Excerpt from score:

Mea Maxima Culpa Excerpt

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