A Message From the  Emperor

Program Note

A Message from the Emperor was commissioned by New Music Marimba and the following consortium of contributors who all donated to the commission:

Gustavo Aguilar, Thad Anderson, Jason Blaquière, Andrew Bliss, Kevin Clarke, Michael Compitello, John Corkill, Logan Dean, Jamie Deitz, Kevin Dufford, Kyle Forsthoff, Janus Percussion (Erik Barsness & Brian Duffy), Laura Jordan, Ji Hye Jung, Nick Gleason and Ian Hale, Chris Graham, Jon Greeney, Adam Groh, Barrett Hipes, Ayano Kataoka, Kunihiko Komori, Setsuko Kutsuno, Eduardo Leandro, Matthew McClung, Nanae Mimura, William Moersch, Lisa Nicol, Fumito Nunoya, Daniel Pate, Lisa Pegher, Julian Pellicano, Denis Petrunin, Ian Rosenbaum, Dr. Larry Snider, Svet Stoyanov, Gwen Thrasher, Jeff Vick, Steve Weiss Music, Alan Zimmerman, Michael Zell, New Music Marimba, SI2 (Matthew Coley and Cory Hills), Third Coast Percussion (Peter Martin, Clay Condon, Robert Dillon, David Skidmore).

A Message From the  Emperor was translated into English from the original German of Franz Kafka by Mark Harman.

About The Work

In his short parable A Message From the Emperor Franz Kafka describes a glorious being, never seen by his countless lowly subjects, who, from his death bed, dispatches an indefatigable messenger (a prophet perhaps) with a most important message - just for you. For various practical reasons however the message cannot possibly be delivered. And even if it finally arrived the one who sent it will have died long ago.

We live on a small planet, circling a medium sized sun, in an ordinary galaxy, among an unimaginable number of other galaxies. We have lived here for millions of years, awaiting an explanation for this state of affairs. We dream of a great being, who at the last possible moment has sent someone with the message for which we, in the twilight of our days, have been so hopefully waiting. We are still waiting.

Martin Bresnick