Pic by Jonathan Broady

Hi Lou, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Very well, thank you for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your movement “Acceptance” from Cathedral?

It’s the centerpiece, containing the main theme and melody from which the other two are based. 

The movement comes from your piece Cathedral – what’s the story behind the title?

The need for a space to reflect, more about headspace than actual architecture. A metaphor for the place where it gets real.

David Lynch talks about transcendental meditation as a place where the “big fish” or big ideas are caught.

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this piece?

A poem by Langston Hughes called “A Dream Deferred” that was really hitting home on societal and personal levels. The current political climate here in the United States, there seems to be an elegy in order.

How did you come up with the concept of each “movement”?

I couldn’t decide if I liked the melody better for guitar and strings, or woodwinds, or piano. I tried different variations, and that’s what they are basically variations on theme.

What can you tell us more about it?

I realized that I didn’t need to only have one version, life is not black and white. There are three phases of a traditional elegy that follow the grieving process through various stages.  “Arrival”, “Acceptance”, and “Ascent” made sense to me when working through the process, each one having a different identity that expresses that particular phase.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote and charted the main structure for woodwinds, brass, and voice. Charted it and tracked it with the musicians, and had the main piece. Then I did the same with two other pieces with different instrumentation. These ideas were tied together with field recordings I made from places that are important to me in NYC and Pennsylvania.

Any plans to release a video for the piece?

Yes, we just wrapped one that’s a live performance of the first movement. We shot it in a beautiful old 1830’s structure that sits along a creek and once served as a planing mill. It’s a place called Susquehanna Studio, the home and workspace of my friend, the painter Robert Stark.

There’s another video in the works which documents rehearsals and a couple of performances.

Any plans to hit the road?

These days it has to be under circumstances that I find worth leaving my comfort zone for. I like to concentrate more on the work itself and I really enjoy being close to my family and studio. I’m open to good scenarios, though!

What else is happening next in Lou Rogai world?

Right now I’m finishing new orchestral music, wrapping up a new Lewis & Clarke LP, and getting ready to release a collaboration with Tim Carbone (of Railroad Earth) called Cedar Sparks.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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