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Zrodlo (2004)

Audio Excerpt 1

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Program Notes

     Zrodlo (The Source) was commissioned in Fall 2004 by the Moniuszko Musical Society for the 25th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Boston and the United States.

     I deeply regret that this musical offering will not reach his eyes and ears, yet I find consolation knowing that he is now at, in, with the Source that beckons each one of us.  The pure, innocuous stream endlessly waters the sea of humanity, always and unfailingly bearing witness to our lives - it becomes our task to bear witness in return. I am thankful for and find encouragement in that comforting phrase so central to his apostleship: "Do not be afraid".  Do not be afraid to trip and stumble, over and over and over again, in search of the source - nor be afraid to find it.

     The music reflects the poem's various psychological landscapes.  Delicate string chords first heard in the opening return repeatedly as points of reflection and quietude.  These hushed moments alternate with passages of hesitation, conviction, and a questioning that becomes increasingly deliberate, urgent, and demanding.  "Gdzie jestes, zrodlo?!", set to a recurring musical motto heard first in the opening measures, turns from a searching plea to a dramatic outcry. Towards the end, the chorus and soloist intone the questioning motto one last time, however to words that seem less demonstrative.  Rather, the closing music and last lines of the poem suggest a reverence that perhaps, in order to truly find the answer to "Gdzie jestes zrodlo?" involves a serenity shaped and acquired by the presence of grace.

     In deep humility I dedicate Zrodlo to the Holy Father Karol Woytyla, John Paul the Great.