I Cantori & The Archbishop’s Ensemble
In the library of a small Catholic college in Pennsylvania I found the complete Chilam Balam, the sacred books of the Maya Indians of Yucatan. The prophet Balam in his 15th century writings foretold of strangers from the east who would bring a new religion to the Maya. It was from these books that most of Apologetica's text was gleaned.
The choral-string piece Totoka (track 3) and the introducton to the song Lovely Bird (track 5) use texts created from mixing Hopi and Navajo words and phrases. Apologetica, the final work in this set of pieces uses a text drawn from The Tears of the Indians, a 1542 book by Fray Bartoleme de las Casas, the Spanish Bishop who was known as the Protector of the Indians.
Apologetica went through several incarnations before reaching its final form of 14 pieces -- ten songs and four instrumental interludes. The texts, created by Sheilah Britton and myself, are as true to the spirit of the original sources as possible.
The world premiere of Apologetica took place at St. Moritz Cathedral in Kromeriz, Czech Republic in June 1996 with Zdenka Vaculovicova conducting the Archbishop's Ensemble. Since that time there have been complete and excerpted performances in Kobe, Japan, the ISA's Drama City, and at Musica Visual Festival in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
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