"03-15-19, Christchurch" - Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano
When I first started working on the trio for violin, cello and piano, news broke out that a deranged white supremacist gunned down dozens of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. Weeks later, we would hear that Islamic terrorists killed scores of innocent Christians in Sri Lanka in the name of “revenge for Christchurch.” So the vicious cycle continues…. This piece is a tribune to the Muslim victims in New Zealand. It is also a rebuke to all violence carried out in the name of religious or nationalistic beliefs.
The first movement is raw, angry, clumsy but also straightforward. It is essentially a theme with two variations in reverse order. When the theme is revealed in the end, the music turns from anger to total desolation. The second movement begins with a lyrical melody first introduced by the piano, then repeated by the violin and the cello. After a quasi-recitative moment of dialogue between the three instruments, the music builds up to a defiant climax based on a repetitive phrase emulating Islamic prayer of “Allahu Akbar.” This prayer has received much negative publicity from past coverage on Islamic terrorists. But as the late senator John McCain pointed out, “Allahu Akbar” is a common phrase used by all people in Islamic faith to pledge their devotion to God. The music returns to the opening elegy and concludes on a quiet, reflective finish.
My sincere gratitude to Maestro Haik Kazazyan, cellist Angela Lee and pianist Chen Woo. It is their extraordinary artistry that made this project possible.
Part I - Grieving Part II - Elegy and Prayers