From the moment I arrived at Civitella, I sensed a certain magic. The castle, which greeted me each morning and watched over me at night had an aura of mystery and ancient times. Walking to my studio each day under the cypress trees, conversing with “Gallito” (my affectionate name for the rooster) and the wise, blind cat that I named “Missy Missy”, were special moments to treasure The ancient voices of the poetry I set to my music whispered to me of secrets centuries past. Each individual during my residency, from the Fellows and their families to the embracing Civitella staff enriched me in countless ways. This is the scenario that is inextricably woven into my new composition. The essence of my Civitella experience is now captured in the title of my work. It is called “Duende”.