In just about every mainstream movie we watch, the protagonist is faced early on with a 'call to adventure' — some kind of inciting incident that beckons them towards the main action of the story. But not every character readily accepts this call. Some heroes are reluctant to go on their journeys. Sometimes, they doubt their destiny for one reason or another — maybe because something in their past haunts them which discourages them from moving forward, or maybe just because their lives are perfectly comfortable and stable without adventure. But no matter the reason behind their reluctance, the call of one's destiny is eventually too strong to be ignored.
"Amor Fati" is Latin for "Love of Fate" — it's a philosophy — a stoic mindset — that challenges us to accept the parts of our own personal narratives which cannot be changed. It's a way to view the world — all the pain, all the pleasure, all the good and bad — and to see the beauty in all of it, not simply
as a blind acceptance of our fate, but acceptance because it is the only way our fate was destined to unravel. We celebrate
the good, we learn from the bad, we grow from the pain. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes, "my formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, [...] but love it."
Musically, this piece is about the inevitability of fate and the magnetic pull it has on our lives. Right from the beginning, a rigid 8th note figure entraps us and marches toward us. We've been chosen. Our 'call to adventure' is immediately sounded in the horns and grows stronger and more seductive with each repetition of the melody... but the question is: will we accept the journey?
Commissioned by the Delta Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha
Sinfonia for the 50th annual
Spring Conference on Wind & Percussion Music at Western Michigan University.