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Secular Requiem


SATB with Divisi and Percussion |  17.5′


Secular Requiem explores an individual’s relationship to death in different contexts including community, the deceased, the self, passage of time, and the present moment. This requiem explores musical duality on different levels including time, texture, harmony, and style. The texts are comprised of quotes and poetry by Leonard Bernstein, Sara Teasdale, Kelsey MacDonald, and the composer. This piece was largely composed following the death of the composer’s paternal grandfather, Larry Swatosh.

1. An Artists Reply to Violence – The relationship that a person has to their community, the duality of homophony and polyphony, and sets a quote by Leonard Bernstein said after the assassination of JFK.

2. I Shall Not Care – The relationship to the deceased, reoccurring motive/modal duality, and sets the poem of the same name by Sara Teasdale.

3. Individuality – The relationship to yourself, the fusion of multiple jazz styles with classical, and the text is entirely scat syllables and has improvisation. 

4. A Lesson in Forgetting – This explores the relationship to the passage of time; the duality of Forgetting/Remembering by moving from unpitched to pitch: breathing, speaking, sprechstimme/half-singing, and singing; and sets the poem of the same name by Kelsey MacDonald.

5. Requiescat – This explores the present moment,  duality of time (Unmetered/metered), meditation, and I wrote a haiku based on the poem “This Moment is Enough” by Samantha Ragsdale.


A commercial recording of this piece will be available sometime later this year


Perusal score available soon