II. The Progressive Ossification of Harry Eastlack
(Variations on a Descending Bass)
Collective Uncommon: Seven Orchestral Studies on Medical Oddities
The second study, The Progressive Ossification of Harry Eastlack, is a set of variations on a descending bass in three progressively slower sections. Harry’s disorder, Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, is a rare and poorly understood disease in which the bone repair mechanism runs out of control, turning other tissue like muscles and tendons into bone. Each section of the movement attempts to reflect this progressively immobilizing disorder: “The Truncated Life” suddenly stops short, reflecting the end of mobility; “The Oppression” repeats two stubborn and somber notes in the clarinet (as the bass line falls, the texture of this static melody thickens); the next section, “The Liberation of Death”, releases the oppressive immobility in an enlightened and lyrical free section.
Indiana University Concert Orchestra
conducted by David Effron
October 9, 2011
Musical Arts Center