The music and lyrics of Songs of Hope in Strange Times: In Times of Stasis was written during the COVID-19 global pandemic of 2020-onwards and was commissioned by Westminster High School, directed by Kelly Ann Self. The overall song cycle is five movements long, with each movement reflecting on how to find hope and meaning during strange and unknown times of life. In Times of Stasis, the third movement of this song cycle, represents the sense of stasis deep in the waiting period of the pandemic. Without being able to observe the normal markers of time passing, such as birthdays, school years, or holidays, time seemed to stand still as each day blended into the next. This sense of moving neither forward nor backward is reminiscent of walking in the ocean tide, where one wave is crashing on shore and another is receding, creating the sense one is simply standing still. While it can be hard to find meaning in these static times, perhaps just being alive and present in this moment is in itself enough.
This movement could be performed as a stand-alone piece or as part of the entire song cycle. See other movements:
II. In Times of Hibernation
Pyramid was inspired by Jennifer Higdon’s 1726, which was named after the address of her school. Similarly this piece is named after the striking blue pyramid of my alma mater, California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). The second movement of Pyramid uses a limited pitch set determined by the German notation of BEACH (Bb E A C B), also an homage to CSULB.Continue reading Pyramid: I, II, and III
Loki’s Tale is a rhythmic and occasionally swinging piece for Bass Clarinet, Marimba, Vibraphone, Piano, Violin, and Cello. It uses low-pitched ostinatos and interwoven ideas that pass between the instruments, making this a rewarding piece for an ensemble.
This short piece would be a great concert opener or closer.Continue reading Loki’s Tale