A few years ago, I wrote a seventeen-minute-long orchestra piece named 1348 after the worst year of the bubonic plague that wiped out nearly one-third of Europe’s population and nearly one-half of England’s. In many ways, I could see parallels between that time and ours.
Unsurprisingly, this rather dark piece has had a difficult time finding a performance. But Dr. Patrick Miles and Dr. Leslie DeBauche at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point stepped up to remedy this. This spring, Dr. DeBauche’s film class made a zombie movie to go along with the seven movements of 1348. A zombie movie! I was thrilled. The final performance, which took place on April 23, 2014, was a screening of the film with the university orchestra, conducted by Maestro Miles, playing 1348 as a live soundtrack.