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Composer: Kujala, Stephen

Eurhythmionics, by Stephen Kujala, Published by Progress Press.

In 1978 my father, WaIfrid Kujala, "commissioned" me to compose a piece for piccolo and piano which he would perform at the 8th annual National Flute Association convention in Dallas, Texas. I was at once honored by the request and terrified by the process. After all, writing a musical composition was not unlike writing the junior theme I attempted in high school, the master's thesis I never stayed around long enough for in college, or the great American novel I would never write in real life. Projects of this sort require inspiration, organization and time management skills. I possessed an ampie quantity of the firsy requirement, but was admittedly deficient in the remaining two. After seriousIy considering the gravity of the undertaking (for about five minutes), I said, "yes."

Nineteen years later I am proud to say that I have finally completed the piece! Actually, the composing itself took about eight months, spread out over nineteen years. What began as a modest piece entitled Take Your Picc (straight out of the famous Kujala Family Pun Center) was indeed premiered, and quite triumphantly, I might add, in Dallas in 1979. Now its outgrowth, Eurhythmionics, has ended up as a better crafted and more mature piece of music that I feel is finally worthy of taking its place aiongside the growing concert repertoire for the piccolo. Having finally completed writing the piece, I knew that I had to change the title. EURYTHMIONICS is a hybrid of eurythmy,* Europe (where many of my most influential composers/heroes came from), rhythm, and phonics. After many days of agonizing over a couple of hundred possibilities, it all came down to a phone call to my father presenting him with the top-ten finalists... none of which we used, since we stumbled onto Eurhythmionics, more or less together. One of those father-son moments, to be sure!

* Eurhythmy: rhythmical movement; a system of harmonious body movement to the rhythm of spoken words.