Simple Lives written in 1990 on commission from the Colonial Symphony to celebrate their fortieth anniversary was premiered during the spring of 1991 with Yehuda Gilad conducting. The work is dedicated to the Colonial Symphony and is also intended to honor my grandmother, Eunice Sampson and her two sisters, Naomi Magnuson and Edna Friedstrom. The three sisters were residents of Orion, Illinois, a small, rural town about 160 miles south of Chicago. From my visits as a young boy, I remember the family farm with its chickens underfoot and horses to be broken and acres and acres of cornfields. I also remember all of the relatives fixing their cherished covered dishes when the folks from back East would visit them each summer. My memories were warm and comforting. When I was about twelve, we stopped visiting Orion and my memories became influenced in time with my experiences as a young musician in Philadelphia and New York. The lives of my relatives began to seem hopelessly old-fashioned. As an adult, I began to visit Orion once more and got to know Eunice, Naomi, and Edna again. What I found were lives that were marvelously rich in directness, humor and spirituality. What I once thought of as simple and old-fashioned turned out to be focused and consistent. Simple Lives reflects that change of perspective and honors their example. My grandmother, Eunice, in her late nineties, passed away while I was writing Simple Lives. Naomi died shortly thereafter at the age of one hundred and nine. Edna, lived several more years and died at one hundred and four.
Madison Middle School, Madison, NJ, Colonial Symphony, 1991
Redrunner Music (David Sampson)
Monument: Music of David Sampson, Summit Records DCD 237
David Sampson (1990)
Total Running Time: 14:02