John McDonald - Silver Passages: A Prologue, Op.446, No.13 (2009)

Audio Files | Posted Jul 23, 2010
Program: Alumni Program

In 1994-95, the Tufts Experimental College celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Then, the Experimental College was the administrative umbrella for EPIIC (Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship), which at that time also celebrated a 10th Anniversary. The program has since grown and become an integral part of the Institute for Global Leadership.

I wrote a two-piano piece in 1995 for that double anniversary entitled Triacad: Thirty Variations, Op. 227; the twentieth variation (Vision) celebrated EPIIC in particular, and serves now, fifteen years later, as the musical impetus for Silver. Passages: A Prologue. The new piece thus includes two “recollections” (the beginning and penultimate sections), combined with a brief lyrical passage that mimics a Burmese rhyme form, and a fiery central part. A brief coda is an encoded announcement spelling “EPIIC.’ The vigor and unrest that characterizes the piece could almost be taken as a “portrait” of the IGL’s mission to expose us to the rigors and difficulties of diverse world dilemmas.

I consider the piece a prologue because I wish IGL many decades of continued engagement working across the globe. In the context of tonight’s Awards Ceremony, I offer the piece as a prelude to the many challenging endeavors that tonight’s award-winners will undertake in the weeks, months, and years to come.


- John McDonald