For the Uprooted: Janice Hamer

For the Uprooted has no dramatic program, traditional form or systematic method. The music seemed to arise as a response to the turbulence of our current world, and its destabilizing effect on countless lives.

Maestro Freeman offered the option of referring, in the commissioned work, to Mozart’s K.449, performed in this concert by my friend and colleague Marcantonio Barone. I have fleetingly done so, evoking a melody from the Andantino of the concerto, which in turn quotes—deliberately or not?—a movement from Bach’s Cantata 140, “Mein Freund ist mein.”

I dedicated this piece, with deep gratitude, to James Freeman and Lori Barnet. Freeman’s invitation encouraged me to “get back on the horse” after a non-composing period. The idea of a solo cello part for Lori Barnet occurred to me after I accepted the commission. She has played a significant and generous role as midwife to innumerable new works by Philadelphia and Washington composers, including several of mine. – Janice Hamer

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