After learning about the Armenian Genocide for the very first time, Francis Norton decided to vent his anger over the tragedy, the Armenian Weekly reports.
The Wilmington High senior sat behind a computer and composed an Armenian symphony he so aptly calls “Hellfire.” He debuted it inside a genocide studies class called “Facing History and Ourselves,” being taught by Lisa Joy Desberg and Maura Tucker.
The two-minute piece is full of ritualistic movement done with cello, violin, piano, and brass with multiple key and tempo changes, much like an early Alan Hovhaness work.
One might equate it to “eerie and unpleasant” at first, but that’s just the medium for which it was intended by the young composer. The entire work was compiled in just two days.
“It’s a dark theme that inspired the Armenian Genocide,” says Norton. “I thought of the mood and subject matter. In some instances, I had to stop writing when I thought about the torment and depression this nation faced. I felt the pain of the victims.”