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Photo taken at Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO, 2020

on the fragility of time

for cello and voice (2020)

In the spring of 2020, the world saw itself in what seemed a never-ending stretch of tumultuous times. When my friend Elizabeth Kate Hall-Keough asked me to write this piece in May of 2020, I began composing while paralyzed in a time of turbulence, uncertainty and fear. Throughout the endless stretch months that followed, time seemed so frail. In some ways, time seemed go to so much faster than I could keep up – the news got darker exponentially day by day. But in other ways, time seemed so much slower, so stretched out, with pain, fragility, and vulnerability ever more acute and infinite.


on the fragility of time is, then, a meditation on these complicated sentiments. It is in part a lullaby – an attempt to comfort oneself in moments of deep darkness. It is also pondering, haunting, and at moments harsh. On one hand, I composed intending for the audience to experience time literally slowing down as they listen, to lull the listener into subconscious meditation and self-reflection. However, the piece is also one way of conveying the confusing, cluttered emotions and thoughts that plagued my mind throughout the year about myself, those around me, and the world around us.


October 24th, 2020 – Kulas Recital Hall, Oberlin Conservatory

April 29th, 2021 – Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin Conservatory

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