Op. 5 – Lennon

Chamber Orchestra

  • Instrumentation: 1-1-1-1-a. sax, 1-0-0-0, hp, pno, perc., timp., strings, tape
  • Composed: 1981
  • Time: 14 minutes

Lennon was composed in Dec. 1980 and Jan. 1981 as my personal response to the shooting on Dec. 8, 1980, of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman.

Much of the music is lively and boistrous. Clearly a life is being celebrated more than a death is being mourned. My own childhood is being relived as well, a childhood made brighter by the Beatles songs John Lennon helped create. A piano solo turns my thoughts to contemplate the fateful moment. Earlier that day, Chapman had asked Lennon for an autograph. In my imagination, the two encounters became one. The intrusion of a taped voice was found shocking by the audience at the first performance. Some felt the spoken voice was alien to the music.

I hope to offer a revised version of Lennon in the future.