Musica (1997) by Edmund Campion
for flute, clarinet, marimba, and piano
West Coast premiere

Musica is the final piece from a set of four pieces entitled Quadrivium. The pieces are designed to be played either individually or together as a complete uninterrupted cycle. The first three pieces of the cycle were completed and premiered in Rome while I was holder of the Fredric A. Julliard/Walter Damrosch 1995 Rome Prize in Music composition. The last piece, Musica, was written for the New York New Music Ensemble a few years later. Musica is scored for flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, marimba and piano.

In the Middle Ages, the science-oriented Quadrivium (Mathematica [Arithmetica], Geometria, Astronomia and Musica) was combined with the Trivium (rhetoric, grammar and logic) to form the seven Liberal Arts. The use of the term Quadrivium dates to the time of Boethius and can be translated from the latin as a "place where four ways meet". Each piece in my Quadrivium involves some use of quadraphonic sound and four points of diffusion.

My reference to this arcane term is actually an inside joke. I found it humorous in 1995 that my future was being connected to the Academy and to Rome. I am from Texas and I never even left my home state until I was well over 20 years old! I continue to find it very funny today that most of my musical life has been associated with the University and the Academy. I love being a Professor, but my actual nature is as far from those academic concerns as I can imagine. The Campion Quadrivium has been completely recorded by Earplay with David Milnes conducting and is planned for a CD release sometime in the next year.

— E. C.    

[from program for June 1, 2011 concert]