Sacred Cows

Soprano soloist
Baritone (or low tenor) soloist
3 female backup singers (SSA or SAA)
Singers should be amplified
Flute (doubles piccolo)
2 Alto saxophones (2nd doubles clarinet in B-flat)
Tenor saxophone
Baritone saxophone
French Horn
2 Trumpets (parts in C)
2 Trombones
Percussion (1 player):
Drum set:
3 tom-toms
Snare drum
Kick drum
Suspended crash cymbal
Splash cymbal
Brake Drum
Concert bass drum (large)
Guitar (electric and steel string acoustic)
Strings (min. 1-1-1-1-1)
Written between August, 2009 and January, 2010 for Great Noise Ensemble in
Alexandria, Virginia.
Duration: ca. 30 minutes.
For years I was EXTREMELY religious (one of my ambitions, in the fourth or fifth grade, for
instance, was to grow up to become Pope!). Then, in 2001, motivated by the conclusion of my
doctoral studies, I began reading scholarship about Jesus Christ and Christianity. Nobody told me
that this was almost always a fatal step for faith and, predictably, mine eroded and evaporated in a
cloud of logic. Sacred Cows is a delayed reaction to that journey. It is a set of quasi-pop songs
(well, my attempt at appropriating popular tropes, anyway) dealing with doubt and the ills of
unquestioning spirituality.
Don’t get me wrong: spirituality is fine! I’m all for it! And, in the end, I heed the words of Buddha at
the end of Sacred Cows: Question everything; find your own light.
Sacred Cows was written for Great Noise Ensemble.