Curtis Meyer reporter
It is not often that someone still in college gets a chance to be the original recording for a new piece of music, but for sophomore Jayce Milburn this is the ultimate college experience. The song, called Terra Lontana, was written by Professor Raul Munguia’s friend Angel Enoch, and professor Munguia was glad to offer Milburn’s services to debut the song.
“I was looking for some repertoire to start playing, and Dr. Munguia one day in one of our lessons was like ‘hey, I have this friend that wrote this piece, and he asked me to perform it and I asked if I could have you work on it.’ Angel said yes, so that’s kind of where everything started,” said Milburn.
Milburn will perform the piece as part of his recital for Professor Munguia’s class, who will be livestreaming it to the composer. This will be the first recording of this piece ever, and as such it will be what future players will look to base their own performances on.
“It’s a little bit of pressure because you are going to be the reference point for the future. You know, we are studying music history right now, say this is the violin concerto that Beethoven wrote in 1845, he wrote it for such and such. There is usually a press review, everybody talks about it. So, everyone after that tries to reference what people did from the beginning,” said Professor Munguia.
A year ago, Milburn was not even enrolled at Pitt State. “I actually came to him [Munguia], last May and was like ‘Hey, I haven’t played in about two years, and I want to finish my degree.’ He was awesome and helped me with the whole process, he’s actually one of the only reasons I’m able to go to school right now,” said Milburn.
Enoch, the composer for the piece, lived in Honduras, which is where Professor Munguia is from, but moved to Italy a couple of years ago and wrote the piece while living there.
“Terra Lontana, the title of the piece means faraway lands, though it might be better translated as reminiscence of your land. Yearning for a way to go home, or getting melancholy,” said Professor Munguia.
“One of the things I love most about this, in the second movement he actually names places near where he lived, writes them into the music and gives them names. The theme changes just a little bit as you get to the names and music and it’s really cool,” said Milburn.
The piece will be performed on Tuesday, April 4th, and while it is not a public performance it is open for anyone to watch. At some point after the performance, the recording will be on Enoch’s website along with the sheet music for sale. The piece is around 12 minutes long, made up of three different movements.
“This is the first piece he’s written for viola, multi movement, a three-movement piece for viola and piano. You know, it’s just great to see a new piece being added to the repertoire,” said Professor Munguia.
“I’m very, very excited about it. It’s not an opportunity that comes around very often, so I’m very grateful for both of them for allowing me to do this. It’s a little stressful too, I will say that. Make him proud and put something out that the composer is not going to start throwing chairs,” said Milburn.