“When looking for a text, I stumbled across a Pontic Greek folk song’s text that I thought fit excellently. The story was filled with sorrow, but the delivery was extremely evocative, which was effective for the narrative I set out to tell.”
Much like the planet, Pontic Greek culture and language also faces a predicament for its own survival, which Cunningham thought “add[s] another layer of urgency to the piece.”
Cunningham (b. 1999) is a composer and vocalist based in Southern California. Deeply rooted in meditative melodies and rich harmonies, his works span several genres, with pieces written for orchestra, choir, chamber ensembles, soloists, and electronic music. His experience lies in choral music, which is evident by the lyrical and expressive sonic properties of all his works. A supporter of collaboration, Cunningham has partnered with other composers, directors, and performers to write film scores, music for theater, pop songs, and concert music alike. With a strong influence from his Greek heritage, Cunningham’s works feature several compositional techniques drawn from the beautiful melodic content of Byzantine chant and the unique texture of Greek folk music. Upon graduation from the University of Redlands, Cunningham plans on pursuing a career in choral conducting and composition.