PROGRAM NOTE & MOVEMENTS
Today, we find ourselves surrounded by signs of apocalypse. Yet in the midst of suffering and dread, life contains great beauty. The sun on a breezy day, a conversation with a friend. The depth of the ocean and the stars.
As a composer, I have been striving for meaningful ways to engage with the philosophical (as opposed to representational or programmatic) aspects of the climate crisis for years. This work represents a new approach for me that conveys the simultaneity of beauty and dread that we experience in our own time. We take in the miracle of life and the natural world, which is a precious gift, yet we are constantly reminded that our days on this earth (as a species) are numbered.
Drawing inspiration from the Doomsday Clock, the work uses a parallel narrative: interruptive, dream-like clock strikes, which convey a sense of doom, as the listener approaches midnight, the metaphorical end of the world. For years, scientists have been “sounding the alarm,” but somehow, we can’t respond. These clock strikes, interspersed with increasing urgency in various contexts throughout the work’s six movements, represent that feeling of ever-increasing anxiety and emergency as we approach the end of the world in a dazed, sleepwalking state.
But of course, our apocalypse is only the end of humanity, not the end of the world. Therefore, on the scale of geologic time and actually, of eternity, what what are we?
2. Ebb and Flow
6. Midnight/Crashing Waves
PREMIERE: This piece, written during my doctoral studies at UC Davis and my most ambitious project, was created for my partner, pianist Sakurako Kanemitsu, but has not yet received a premiere. If you might be interested in a full or partial premiere of the work, please reach out and I would be delighted to chat. The work is an exploration of dream logic, nature, and ecological collapse.