Photo taken at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2016
SEARCHING THE SUBCONSCIOUS
for brass ensemble (2016)
Throughout my life, I’ve faced situations where I have an idea or thought that is so deeply hidden in my mind that I can’t define it. This occurred for the first time as an obstacle to my creative process when I was writing this piece.
Composing Searching the Subconscious was challenging from the very beginning; I had never written for brass nor a large ensemble and I found the ensemble daunting. Consequently, during the first week of composing, I wrote with doubt and uncertainty, not knowing exactly what message I was trying to convey. I felt trapped within my own mind, intuitively knowing that I had a grasp on a solid idea but not being able to clearly recognize it – thus spending days upon days writing, trying to find it.
However, after attempting several variations of content and furiously searching my mind, the purpose of the work became clear to me: I was simply depicting the obscured thought process that I was experiencing. In the beginning, various pitches conflict against each other both harmonically and rhythmically to represent a state of conflicting thoughts. As the piece progresses, a more melodic and tonal sound rises. The instruments slowly come together into harmony to portray the mind’s approach to clarity and the hope that ensues. Ultimately, the music reaches a resolution – just like the finally settled mind.
This writing process was just as relieving as it was satisfying; I was finally able to convey my inexplicable thoughts. Just as the music portrays a shift from confusion to clarity, I have finally reached an inner peace by putting such obscured ideas into something concrete.
August 2, 2016 – Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA