Ignatian Exercises

Ignatian Exercises is a reference to two things: first, the famous Catholic Spiritual Exercises penned by the basque saint and founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignacio de Loyola, and second, the town of my birth, St. Ignatius, Montana. I stumbled upon the Spiritual Exercises while I was researching the early cultures of western Montana. From this research, I discovered the long and dark history of St. Ignatius, and more specifically, the heartbreaking and disgraceful conflict between the early Catholic settlers and the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes. Inspired to think more deeply about this conflict, I decided to write a work drawing inspiration from my memories of St. Ignatius, my Catholic upbringing, and the pan-tribal culture of the Flathead Indian Reservation. The music acts as a descent into these memories and moves quickly from idea to idea, as if trying to conjure up these distant impressions. Some of the ideas are murky, some are crystalline, but all try to represent a distinct memory from my youth. These memories are continually interrupted by an antagonistic D-natural, which slowly bends in and out of tune. This is meant to represent the idea of inevitability: the inevitable loss of memory, the inevitable destruction of the western landscape, and the inevitable loss of the native cultures.

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ACO Performances

19th Underwood New Music Readings (2010)

May 20, 2010 5:30 pm
Miller Theater at Columbia University

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