Biography of Philip Munger
Philip Munger, composer of The Skies are Weeping, was born in 1946 and studied composition at Oberlin Conservatory and at the University of Washington. After working in Seattle, he has lived in Alaska since 1973.
Munger has sought to address concerns about environmental, humanitarian and social issues in a number of his compositions. He has spoken and written widely on these issues. In April, 2004, he delivered a talk in Anchorage on the humanitarian and political underpinning of his recent work, “The Skies are Weeping,” a cantata about the circumstances and political climate leading to the death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie (in the Gaza Strip in March, 2003). In June, 2005 he was invited by the Anchorage Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship to speak about The spiritual roots of my protest music.
Although The Skies are Weeping has gained notoriety - even though as yet unperformed - Munger’s protest music is quite ecumenical in subject matter. As early as 1972, Munger wrote music critical of denigration of Native American spiritual values. Recently he has written compositions critical of the Taliban, hypocrisy after September 11, 2001, the American military machine, and about blasphemies against Christianity.
He has received many prizes and other honours. His works have been performed at the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Juilliard Institute, Cornish Institute, Warsaw Conservatory, the National Gallery, the National Cathedral and several other notable venues.
His most recent award, from the service organization Bugles Across America, was in January 2005, for his composition Shards, honouring America’s Afghanistan and Iraq Wars’ dead, for which he was awarded their “For Valor” decoration.