Who you are! Who are you?
Walker, Patrick Ryan
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Who you are! Who are you? was originally commissioned by the Juventas New Music Ensemble for their Spring 2019 concert celebrating the freedom of speech. Even before the premiere of the chamber ensemble version of this piece with Juventas I had already expanded it into an orchestral work which was read by the Boston University Symphony Orchestra during the Fall 2018 reading sessions. Following the chamber ensemble premiere I again revised the piece and it won the Boston University CFA Composition Department Prize for Performance with Orchestra and was given its orchestral premiere by the BUSO under the direction of Maestro Bramwell Tovey. When I received the initial commission I instantly knew that this piece must include text, considering that the premiere would be on a program celebrating the freedom of speech. I spent a long time looking for texts and finally settled on this one by the 12th century Benedictine Abbas, composer, and philosopher Hildegard von Bingen. Her words are an exhortation to unapologetic self-expression and inspired me to be more personal in my writing of this piece than ever before. As a young composer it is easy to be influenced by what you think audiences, teachers, and performers want to hear and not use your own authentic voice. It was frightening at first to be so honest and personal with my writing however, it was what the text demanded and has led to a finished work of which I am proud.
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