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Pilgrim's Blues

$16.00
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CMS1123
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For Violin, Piano, and Cowbell
For Violin, Piano, and Cowbell
By Keith Dippre

The summer of 1751 must have been excruciating for Jonathan Edwards. He had been ousted from his Northampton pulpit a year earlier and was now to undertake a journey that surely must have been filled with anguish and foreboding. He was going to laboriously transition his wife and eleven children to Stockbridge, Massachusetts and adopt the lifestyle of a wilderness missionary. What kind of thoughts, even mental tortures, did this man experience on the road from Northampton to Stockbridge? Was he praying, panicking, attempting some kind of soothing mental diversion, or beseeching God for heavenly guidance? I suspect he experienced all of these, but in the end, bowed to a kind of severe, yet necessary spiritual refinement. Pilgrim's Blues is a sonic representation of the journey from Northampton to Stockbridge. The cowbell serves as a kind of cruel timekeeper, striping the inexorable steps of Edwards towards his new assignment. Towards the end of the piece there is an air of triumph and resolution, metaphorically pointing to Edward's great literary and theological accomplishments while residing on the frontier.

Pilgrim's Blues was premiered in October of 2003 at the Jonathan Edwards Tercentenary in Northampton, Massachusetts and has since been performed in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio, and Fresno, California.



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