COME HOME (IN A MILLION PIECES) (2014)


I just got home from Miami Beach, where I was thrilled to present the premiere of a new piece, “Come Home (in a million pieces),” commissioned by the wonderful mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider for her compelling series IlluminArts. The performance took place at the Bass Museum, where an astounding exhibit of El-Anatsui’s large-scale tapestries is currently on. The program Amanda and her team put together was a series of pieces inspired by or resonant with these artworks. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this innovative series in the first place, but also amazed at how synchronous these particular artworks are with the music I’ve been trying to write lately–large-scale, repetitive sculptures, glittering with color and texture and vibrancy, all constructed from many tiny pieces of the same kind of material. I dove right into creating a piece that would speak to this technique. My approach was to write a simple, emotional love song, and then fracture and fragment the vocal line such that, by the end of the piece, a thick texture of emotive voices would be built up, and have no choice but to reach a grungy, noisy climax that would theoretically be able to echo infinitely in a massive space. Amanda did an amazing job at conveying the dark yet restrained emotion I was going for. Here is a brief video clip of our pre-concert rehearsal; I hope to have a full recording up soon! (Many thanks to the fabulous soprano Susan Hellman for this footage!)

Many thanks also to David Russell and Gabby Diaz for the use of their recorded cello and violin samples!