23 Oct Places We Can No Longer Go
John Mackey (b.1973) holds a Master’s of Music degree from The Julliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb respectively. Mr. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and symphonic winds, and has focused on those mediums for the past several years. Mr. Mackey has received numerous commissions for his writing, including works for The American Bandmasters Association, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and a concerto for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi. John Mackey composed this work as a tribute to his mother Elizabeth and her suffering with rapid-onset dementia. The composer watched his mother lose her ability to form a sentence that anyone could understand, but marveled at her never losing recognition of her favorite works of music. As both an accomplished flutist and soprano, she would hum along with her favorite melodies that she once performed so deftly. The work takes the listener though this journey of slipping deeper and deeper into the loss of cognizance. This story seems sad, and it is. Nobody wants to hear a piece that tells a story like this, and nobody wants a piece that starts “coherent” and becomes lost and confused as it progresses. So, Places we can no longer go tells the story of this disease, but does so in reverse. It starts in the present, or maybe even in the future, and over the course of musical time, goes in reverse, as confusion turns to clarity, and grief turns to comfort. A.E. Jaques wrote the literal text for the soprano voice, struggling to recall memories before they are gone.
Audio/Video Engineer: Rob Paustian