Collaborator(s): Al Evangelista (choreography)
Instrumentation: string quartet, chamber choir
Year Composed: 2017
Premiere: April 18, 2017 • Converge String Quartet and Meridian Vocal Ensemble
Saeculum (2017) is a seven-movement dance cantata created in collaboration with choreographer Al Evangelista. The title (lat: generation) draws its name from the the term used in the Strauss-Howe generational theory to describe an American historical cycle that spans roughly 80 years and is marked by inverting relationships between society’s relative strength in institutions and individualism. Each 80 year cycle is further broken into four twenty year cycles which form the structure of this work. Movement II represents the “High” era (strength in institutions), movement II represents the “Awakening” era (transition towards individualism), and movement V represents both the “Unraveling” (strength in the individual) and “Crisis” (transition back to strength in institutions) eras. The other movements simultaneously provide commentary on the entire cycle while perpetuating the motion of the cycle. Saeculum is supported in part through the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance EXCEL Enterprise Fund.