Photo taken in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2016
for string trio and woodwind trio (2016)
My appreciation for nature has grown immensely over the last year. Where I live in Houston, Texas, there is relatively little lush greenery, hills, flowers; however, spending this past month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has given me the opportunity to explore various sites of nature, whether it be in the local residential streets or taking a bus to the many historic parks. The forests here are stunning – I was surrounded by these lush and overgrown trees, beautiful golden sunlight peeking through leaves as the day wanes, and fireflies lighting up my surroundings like the night sky. I’ve silently walked for hours through such places and it’s just so beautiful, so simple yet incredible.
Being surrounded by nature, I have found myself in a situation similar to something defined in German as waldeninsamkeit: a sensation of solitude and innate connection when alone with nature. I wanted to portray this sense in Woodland Solitude; although it isn’t quite as complex as some of my other works, I wrote to satisfy a long-lasting urge for simplicity and tonality. With the surrounding nature bringing an everlasting sense of serenity, I felt compelled write something to do it justice.
Recorded at Carnegie Mellon University in August 2016