teresa mccollough
los muertos

Música para El Día de los Muertos!

Música para El Día de los Muertos! is an ongoing project to mark the festivities of the Day of the Dead holiday, which honors the memory of deceased loved ones through music, dancing, food, colorful costumes and imagery, and other sacred and secular traditions popular in Mexico, the Philippines, Brazil, and other Latin American countries and communities throughout the world.

The works commissioned and presented in 2006 are linked by a common theme: the celebration of "the sacred life cycle", and the continuity and joy of the human experience, even in the face of death, or loss. While not all of the music programmed was written specifically for the Day of the Dead, each piece honors this tradition through its remembrance of those we’ve lost, and their important contributions to our lives.

Featured works on the Dia de los Meurtos concert, November 2006:

Belinda Reynolds: Remembrance for Piano, Marimba, and Chamber Chorus (2006):
This one-movement work co-commissioned by McCollough and Barbwire Music Project uses the musical structure and text (written by Santa Fe author Elizabeth Orem) to express the joy of the holiday and capture the lyrical essence of the circle of life.

Pamela Layman Quist: Homage (1996):
This solo piano piece was composed in honor of Quist’s lifelong friend David Hogan who died tragically in the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800. This soulful piece weaves light and dark, joy and sorrow, and the heights and depths of human experience into a very personal tapestry of sound that quotes Hogan’s own piano piece Aerial in honor of the beautiful creative gifts he shared through his music.

Gabriela Lena Frank: Requiem for a Magical America: Día de los Muertos (2006):
Commissioned by Santa Clara University for Teresa McCollough, this special arrangement is for two-pianos and percussion. Originally a ten-movement ballet accompanied by a large ensemble of orchestral winds and percussion, this new version arranges select movements that trace one village’s celebration of their own deceased:

  • I. Preludio: Canto Religioso
  • II. Sacando a los Espíritus Malos
  • III. El Cementerio
  • IV. La Llegada de los Muertos
  • V. Almas Perdidas
  • VI. Danza del Guerrero Precolombino
  • VII. Epílogo: Canto Religioso

George Crumb: Ancient Voices of Children (1970):
This hauntingly beautiful piece composed during the summer of 1970 forms part of an extended cycle of vocal compositions based on the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. Fusing various unrelated stylistic elements, Crumb adeptly realizes his original impulse to be the climatic final words of the last song: "...and I will go very far… to ask Christ the lord to give me back my ancient soul of a child."

--Teresa McCollough