Matthew McConnell (b. 1980) — Cathedral Shadows (2014) for organ
The composer writes the following about this work: “I had a dream that at twilight I was in a cathedral filled with quiet music. The music started very simply, similar to block-like organum, above a pedal G drone. As the sun set, and stained glass windows began to cast colored ‘shadows,’ the chords began to blend together, contrapuntally, as if a score were left out in the rain, the wet ink bleeding the chords into one another. Following this delicate, hazy texture, the original block chords returned, and I woke up. Captivated by its haunting nature and simplicity, I tried to write down as much of the music as I could remember. This acted as the basic material for this piece.”
Matthew McConnell (b. 1980) is an American composer and organist. Educated at Bennington College (B.A.) and the New England Conservatory of Music (M.M. and D.M.A.), he studied with Stephen Siegel, Allen Shawn, John Heiss, and Daniel Pinkham. He has served as organist and director of music at numerous churches throughout Massachusetts, and has taught composition, piano, organ, orchestration, keyboard harmony, and music theory. His compositional output includes symphonic works, sacred choral pieces, concerti (including one for toy piano), incidental music for the theater, chamber music, and solo and vocal works. Several of his works are published by E. C. Schirmer.