For Solo Viola
Commissioned by Calvin Green in 2020 to commemorate the 1919 Berkshire Festival Competition. This work was partially supported by a SPARC Graduate Research Grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina.
Premiered by Calvin Green on April 17, 2021 at the University of South Carolina.
Video performance by Calvin Green: "Flood" begins at 50:00 and continues through 58:25.
"Flood" synthesizes my anxiety - a flood of emotion during 2020-2021. I have
dreams of water, where it's like this metaphor for emotion becomes literal:
flood of emotions actually come close to engulfing me. Isn't it cool how
dreams make metaphors literal?
Unlike many of my other works, there's a lot of anxiety in this music. My
breath is stunted and then returns.
There is anxiety over the pandemic, over our environmental crisis, and a
visceral response to the Jan 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol. Fear, anxiety,
anger. Anger at misused anger. Anger at white supremacy. Anger at blatant
disrespect, of people and the environment.
In the confinement of the pandemic, we seek relief and we seek to escape.
Anxiety holds me but I have moments of escape, moments of joy, moments
I don't know where I'd be right now without a community of musicians to
collaborate with, even virtually. Many thanks to Calvin Green for his
willingness to engage discomfort with endless patience, to talk, and find
solutions. What an interesting instrument the viola is, to speak all these
complicated emotions through. So brash, throaty, and powerful. And the
ability to scratch! The ability to scratch, to be suffocated, and finally, to