Matt Van  Brink - composer, pianist, lyricist, educator

Sic Semper Nobis (2007)

Orchestra | 8 mins

2(picc)222, 423(bass)0, timp, 2perc, harp, strings

Sic Semper Nobis ("Ever Thus to Us") documents the birth, development, and coronation of a single, perhaps flawed idea. In history, certain trends have changed or faded while others have been more tenacious. Can we shake off the assumptions which may have brought about these trends? Or those universal truths we learned as infants? Or even the ones we learned later in life— about how the world operates? We are bound more inextricably than we know to our paradigms. Ever thus to us.

In the piece, after the first presentation of the main idea (in the violins, horns and trumpets) it blooms out of control, taking over, demanding attention. Eventually, its burden is impossible to shake, and any gestures contrary to the main idea become overshadowed. But would a few notes' difference in the first measures have brought about a different shape to things?

First performed by California State University Northridge Symphony, 8 May 2009