Plagues of Egypt

As the son of a preacher, I grew up hearing the exciting stories of the Bible.“Plagues of Egypt” is the first of several pieces that will be apart of a larger work entitled, Bible Stories. The goal of this piece is to recount the tale from the point of view of the Pharaoh, who stubbornly holds the freedom of the Jewish people. With the entrance of each plague, light metallic sounds of the harp, celeste and percussion are coupled with static strings depicting the spirit of God. From the frogs and boils to the swarm of pestilence, Pharaoh refuses let the Jewish people go. Two heavy jabs are used in the orchestra throughout the entirety of the piece to show Pharaoh’s “hardened heart”. It is only with the “Angel of Death” which takes the life of Pharaoh’s first born child that these motions are climaxed with his despair. The jabs are eventually broken down to single instruments by the conclusion as his stubbornness is brought to a desperate whimper.

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ACO Performances

25th Underwood New Music Readings (2016)

June 13, 2016 8:00 am
Miller Theater at Columbia University

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