Bird Mansion [Demo]
for String Quartet and Electronics '19
Violins, Viola, and Cello all multi-tracked by the composer.
Program Notes posted here
Under Hard Light
Inspiration for Under Hard Light came after a visit to Palestine in August 2017, with social justice choir VOICES 21C. We gave a workshop and performed for the Amwaj Choir, containing grade school students from Hebron and Bethlehem. Members of VOICES 21C keep in contact with many of the children, yet one student who wasn’t at the workshop (and never met us), requested me on social media when we got back to the United States. He speaks no English, and often sends me audio clips of his singing, through Facebook messenger with no context.
I was particularly inspired by one of his audio messages, listening to it again and again for two straight weeks, to the point where I started to improvise over it. My homestay contact in Nazareth Illit revealed to me the source of this song: a verse of A Huwa da illi saar, essentially an Egyptian patriotic song sung in the 1920’s, when the British were in control over a large part of the Middle East.
"How can you blame me, oh our master?
When the riches of our country are not even in our hands?
Speak of things that would benefit us
and then come back to blaming me.
"And instead of allowing an envious hater
to be happy at our expense,
Put your hand in mine
Get up and let’s fight
Then we would all become one hand
and the hands would become strong."
Words the Internet Never Taught Me to Pronounce (Partial Premiere Mvmts. 1-3)
Around 2015-2018, it became evident there were many words I didn’t know how to actually pronounce.
I ended up saying these words one by one in front of one of my closest friends, and she promptly and hilariously called me out on them as they came.
Also during high school, and through a line of digital connections, I had made some friends in the Hudson Valley area of upstate New York, with the help of mutual friends in my hometown. These people would not be in my life if it were not for the internet, and contrary to the words I wasn’t able to pronounce in my adult life, the experiences I had in the Hudson Valley helped realize the breadth of potential I could possess as a human.
Each movement of this piece is named after one of those words, and a location in the Hudson Valley area. Words explores the way humans messily develop, and how beautifully unlinear that process is.
3 Miniatures for Violin and Narration
This short piece for violin and narration traces a traumatic life event backwards in hopes of finding clarity. In turn this piece can comment on the all-too-human act of looking back, creating a new and regressive “forwards.”
(Demos, often Pre-Premiere)
-How You Get Your Peace
-XII Finale: Chorale from "Grief Concerto"
-Under Hard Light (Demo)