Daniel Farrell (b. 1996) is a senior undergraduate student at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida majoring in music composition and theory with a philosophy minor. He has studied with Dr. Jianjun He and George “Tony” Steve. Despite his youth, Daniel Farrell is already described as having “a unique sound and musical accent” and “the uncanny ability to write well for any musical grouping”. In the summer of 2016 (only two years since the start of his composition training), Daniel’s Brass Quintet No. 1 “Dante’s Journey” was performed as part of the New Music on the Bayou Music Festival in Ruston, Louisiana. Daniel returned to the New Music on the Bayou Music Festival in the summer of 2017 as his art song The Moon was selected to be featured. Daniel is also the winner of the prestigious Delius Award in Composition at Jacksonville University. ​ In addition to his studies, Daniel self-publishes much of his concert music on his website, writes marching band music, and works as a marching band orchestrator for Chris Creswell Music and Design. He has worked in music editing and engraving with several notable musicians including members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the internationally acclaimed pianist Scott Watkins in publishing a lost piece by the legendary American composer Howard Hanson. Daniel has also scored “Dante: The Pilgrim” an animated short film and “Luminous” a videogame beta while studying at Jacksonville University. ​ Daniel Farrell describes himself as a “Neo-Romantic” composer, rejecting the musical intellectualism of the twentieth century in favor of combining contemporary musical language with older art music traditions. His music has been performed on several concerts around the United States and is always described as sounding like an “instant classic”.


Symphony No. 1 "Fiat Lux"

Fiat Lux is not only Daniel Farrell’s farewell to Jacksonville University, but also an exploratory epic about creation itself. “Fiat Lux” is the Jacksonville University Latin motto and is commonly translated as “Let There be Light”. In this sense, the music tries to evoke the process of creation within the universe. The opening Prelude creates an ethereal and primitive setting meant to depict the universe prior to the explosion of existence. The Prelude is interrupted by The Big Bang and the universe springs to life with turmoil and ferocity. The second movement, The Gift of Life, explores the beauty and magnificence of life and the ability to love. It is followed by the harsh and ferocious third movement, The Curse of Death and Lament for its Victims. As death eventually takes all things, it was appropriate to follow it with a musical exploration of the material of the second movement in a more mournful approach. The third movement was initially supposed to be dedicated to the victims of the Las Vegas Shooting Massacre that occurred during the writing of the symphony, however because another shooting (the Texas Church Shooting) sadly occurred so recently after (and still before the completion of the work) the third movement is instead dedicated to the 13,975 victims of gun violence in the United States from the beginning of 2017 to the completion of this work. The last movement, Let There be Light (the English translation of “Fiat Lux”) evokes the brilliance and overall majesty of the universe, as both its light and darkness are part of an ever-greater shifting of time. The movements are played without pauses in between to create an unbroken emotional journey for the listeners. Fiat Lux is comprised of only a few musical ideas. It contains three central rhythmic motifs: A four-note percussive rhythm named “The Knock”, meant to evoke the idea of destiny knocking for the universe’s inhabitants. A metronomic ticking named “Time”, meant to evoke the passage of time within the universe. A repeated two-note rhythm named “The Heart”, meant to evoke a heartbeat of not only people, but of the heart of the universe itself. Fiat Lux contains two main thematic ideas introduced and derived from the opening material of the work. The subordinate theme, explored mostly in the second and third movements, is the theme of “Life” and evokes the beauty of life. The central theme of the entire symphony is the Alma Mater of Jacksonville University, On the Banks of the Wide St. Johns (George Sackman & William Hoskins). This is the theme of “Light” and not only depicts the joy and wonder of the universe, but also the brilliance of Jacksonville University and its wonderful students and faculty to whom Daniel Farrell gives this work to.

Brass Quintet No. 1 "Dante's Journey"

This piece for Brass Quintet explores The Divine Comedy’s Dante’s epic journey from Earth to Heaven. Each movement follows Dante’s evolution as a character and his interactions with various other characters in the story. The Prelude follows the old tradition of praising the Muses (Ancient Greek Gods of Music and Art) before telling a story. The introductory theme in the French Horn comes to represent the Muses and will return in the other movements as the Muses interact with Dante. The middle section introduces Beatrice’s theme; Beatrice is Dante’s love and from Heaven she guides Dante. Her theme will also return throughout the other movements as she influences Dante’s journey. The Prelude ends with a Rubato 1st Trumpet solo. This “tag” ends each following movement. In the book, Dante Alighieri ends each of the three chapters very cleverly with the word “Stars”. This musical tag is the Stars theme and will eventually become the theme for the final movement. Inferno opens with a dark ostinato rhythm in the Tuba, the theme that follows in the Trombone is Hell’s theme. The theme introduced in the 2nd Trumpet will become Dante’s personal theme. As Dante’s confidence grows his theme grows, eventually being interrupted by Hell’s challenges. The theme that develops between the two Trumpets becomes Virgil’s theme as he guides Dante. Virgil is not the only character who guides Dante, but also Beatrice as her theme reappears as well. With their help, Dante’s theme grows larger and eventually eliminating the Hell theme from the work. The piece ends again with the Star theme tag. Purgatorio opens with a 7 note motif in the Horn representing the 7 deadly sins that Dante learns about in Purgatory. The 7 note theme will reappear throughout this movement in different instruments. The slow and somber opening is a development of Virgil’s theme in the Trumpets as Virgil’s character leaves Dante. Dante’s theme returns later as he travels onward alone. He then meets Beatrice for the first time and their themes (in the 2nd Trumpet and Horn) intertwine as the Muses (in the Trombone) make a brief return. Dante’s theme returns heroically as he leaves Purgatory. The movement ends again with the Stars theme tag. Paradiso opens with the return of the Stars theme in the 1st Trumpet, now fully developed as Dante explores the planets and heavens. Beatrice theme realizes its final development as its warm and loving feeling shows Dante’s affections for her as she leaves Dante. Dante meets St. Bernard and he becomes the final guide for Dante. Musically, he is represented by a quotation of the hymn tune St. Ag¬nes, famously set to the text “Jesus, the very thought of thee” an English translation of St. Bernard’s very own text “Je¬su dul¬cis me¬mor¬ia”. Dante’s theme returns in the Trumpets as it heroically leads into a dramatic Grand Pause meant to evoke the infiniteness of God. The final bars are a tradition plagal cadence as Dante accepts God and enters Heaven.

The Moon

This eerie, yet beautiful song, showcases the many "faces" of the moon. From its darkness and deadness, to its beauty and luminescence. The Moon highlights a sweet relationship between the Soprano and the Piano, and sometimes a cacophonous reflection of the conflict of these two "faces". This work also highlights the range of the soprano, various colors of the piano, and text painting that reflects the two "faces" of the moon in the two main tonalities, b and e minor. Great for any developing vocalist who wishes to expand their range