It's So Hard To Write Music I Like (2018-19)
flute, saxophone, violin, and cello
*First movement workshopped with Vertixe Sonora at the 2018 soundSCAPE festival
Movement 1: Harmony
Movement 2: Texture
Movement 3: Rhythm
Last summer, I went to a composer-performer festival called soundSCAPE and received lessons from several composers including Shawn Jaeger. This festival coincided with a period of artistic crisis, wherein I felt so creatively drained that I abandoned a piece I had been working on for months. I just didn’t want to write music anymore because it didn’t feel like it was coming from my heart, and when I explain that to Shawn, he stated directly: “You have to write the music you want to hear, because no one else will write it.” This piece is dedicated to him.
The three movements are respectively titled "Harmony," "Texture," and "Rhythm," in order to reflect the main musical element that I was focusing on when planning each. Movement 1 is born of ten 4- or 5-note chords that I wrote at the piano simply by following voice-leading that inspired me; movement 2 explores transparent, tender textures created by these instruments; and movement 3 is based on several rhythmic motifs that I found myself often coming back to. Of course, all three movements share overlapping characteristics - movement 1 is very rhythmically driven and uses sudden shifts in texture; the high point of movement 2 is full of lush harmonies; and movement 3 relies on its fast-paced voice leading and changing sonorities to propel it forward. As a whole, these pieces represent a snapshot of my current compositional voice without thinking about impressing my colleagues or teachers -- and while my original intention was not to share these publicly, I'm quite proud of the music that resulted.