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A Meditation on Grief

© 2014, MaLoMaLo Press

for Horn

Duration: 7:00 min.

Program Notes:

One of my primary goals in writing a solo for horn was to explore its versatility through contrast. As I worked with the contrasting sections -- the fanfare and the lament -- the piece began to take on a meaning that reflects several moments of loss in my life this past year. The fanfare is a public occurrence, and it symbolizes a person's communication with and obligation to different organizations and people in the community. The lament is more private in nature, a grief that only close family and friends may know about. In life, situations that cause reason for lamenting usually occur while communal responsibilities are still being put on the individual. This creates tension and raises questions for the individual: how can I fulfill my duties when I am so entrenched in my own loss? How can I explain my situation to those I am responsible toward without saying too much or sounding like I am giving excuses? Should this situation have even affected me so much to begin with? Will I ever feel normal enough to go back to "business as usual"? These are all questions I have wrestled with this past year, and this music is a continued meditation on the difficult issues they raise. It is particularly fitting that the piece has no accompaniment, for loss leaves us lonely. Others may console us to some degree, but grief exists because we are lonely for what we have lost, and nothing else can fill that gaping hole it leaves in the same way. The path of grief must be trod, in large measure, alone.

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