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Former Tsarnaev Classmate Composes Elegy For Bombing Victims05:38

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Composer and performer Jake Harris at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)closemore
Composer and performer Jake Harris at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

What might despair — and then healing — sound like, through the keys of a piano?

Searching for an answer to that question inspired “Elegy for the Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing.” The composer and performer is a 22-year-old Cambridge resident who says he wrote the music in the hopes it will help his friends, bombing survivors and the larger community heal.

Jake Harris at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)
Jake Harris at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

Jacob Harris is in his second year at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. He says during his time at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School he was in the same group of friends as convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

"This is my most humble tribute to the lives that were lost and affected by these terrible acts," Harris said.

Listen to the audio player at the top of the post to hear Harris describe the shock, anger, sense of betrayal and insistence on love that inspired this work. And hear Harris' elegy in its entirety in the audio player here:

Related audio

Program notes are here.

The charts below provide additional details about the music's development:

Part of a map composer Jacob Harris sketched for his elegy. He begins the piece in D minor, a key, he says Mozart used to describe death. (Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
Part of a map composer Jacob Harris sketched for his elegy. He begins the piece in D minor, a key, he says Mozart used to describe death. (Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
(Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
(Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
(Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
(Click to enlarge) (Courtesy)
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