Commission: Boston Athenaeum/New England Philharmonic
Duration: 8 minutes
Premiere: May 25 2016 | Danielle Maddon, Anne Black, Emily Koh | Boston MA
Performance: March 29 2018 | Serena Scibelli, Maggie Snyder, Emily Koh | Athens GA
Instrumentation: violin, viola, double bass (with B string/extension)
-logos- was commissioned by the Boston Athenaeum on the digitization of the Athenaeum’s copy of the Primus Liber — Pierre Attaingnant’s 1532 collection of masses. In it, I quote themes from Claudin de Sermisy’s Agnus Dei from Missa Philomena Praevia, which is found in the Primus Liber. The Latin, logos means opinion or logic, and thus -logos- is my take on Sermisy’s Agnus Dei. In the Primus Liber, I found a quote, which translates to “Therefore, most dear one, listen now attentively. For if you preserve the song of the bird in your mind, the imitation of her as the spirit teaches, will suddenly lead you to hear heavenly music”. In -logos-, there is a bird that pecks away at the microtonally inflected Agnus Dei theme, until the theme dissolves into nothingness.