Hymn for the Innocent (6:30 )
by Julie Giroux
This letter from myself to Colonel Larry Lang following receiving his recording with The United States Air Force Band best describes this piece, certainly better than any program notes I could write. The focus of the letter and the hymn are the same. Whom we love and lose are what defines us as human beings. The relationships we have with each other are our greatest strength. The ability to mourn and grieve, not alone, but with others, is the greatest gift of healing we have. Music grieves, it mourns and it heals.
Thank you so much for the perfect recording. I will admit I can barely listen to it. So much pain, so much loss in a country, in families, in ourselves; to have it culminate into its own music - its own voice - is almost unbearable. Many times right after I mailed it to you I felt great dread and fear; fear that it wasn't what I thought it was, that my emotions had gotten the better of me and as always, the fear of rejection or of being misunderstood. My one consolation was that I did not - and still do not think I had much at all to do with its conception. It came to me finished; every melody, counter, structure and dissonance pounding on me to be put on paper right then so it could continue its journey free again of earthly manipulation; free to mourn and love.
I am truly grateful it picked me for its dictation source, but I am also so very thankful that you were put in my life, you and every member of your wonderfully gifted United States Air Force Band. Thank you, Larry, for also helping this work find its true voice, its perfect voice. Please thank your band members for this gift. I will be forever thankful.
With my deepest gratitude,