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What can I say about love? It never turns out quite the way we expect. Then again neither does life. The years stack up, and the weight of all that time compacts our experiences, until we are forged into something new, like metamorphic rock. A good marriage has the same effect. As the years pile up, any cracks that once existed between us are compressed, our minds and outlooks are reformed, until after a while we have been reshaped, remade together. This music chases love, chases life. It races ahead, keeps the fire lit. It’s hunting, sniffing something out, hungrily searching through the night. The years fly by, but the fire stays lit. It’s a dance, a celebration, though a frenetic one. While you listen, stomp your foot! How about one loud clap! Why the hell not! I have a limited vocabulary for describing how it feels to experience love, real love, so I have to compose instead, to try and capture the uncapturable. This music gives just a taste of that. Love has many flavors, and this is one flavor I’ve tasted, and I want to share the feeling with the world. It may not always be pretty, but it tries hard to live passionately, to expresses itself freely, to communicate something meaningful. It doesn’t give up, even when challenges arise. It reaches out to feel a connection. It aches for it. I have experienced this love. In fact, I experienced it today, while watching my wife walk across the room. Sometimes my heart starts pounding for no reason, and this music appears inside my brain. Makes me want to spin around and around, until everything is blurry. The life we have built, the family we created, the years and shared experiences and adventures are all stacking up before me, until all I can do is marvel at the structure. Keep living! Keep love in your heart, and share it with someone whenever possible. Stomp and dance and spin. And also, lay silently on your bed in the afternoon with the person you love, and watch the sun’s rays poke through the blinds. Compare the sizes of your feet, tell a silly story, share what’s in your heart. Grow together, always growing.
Audio: Allegro.mp3 Score: Allegro TOTALLY DONE.pdf The date was September 24, 2006, my 22nd birthday. Erica and I decided to have a picnic in Meadow Park, share a bottle of wine, and take a nap. It was during this wine-induced nap that somebody walked into our house, in the middle of the day no less, while we slept peacefully in the bedroom, and stole my laptop. This particular laptop happened to contain all the music I had ever written up to that time. Was it backed up somewhere? Of course not. After all, my laptop had never been stolen before, so why would I need to back up everything I'd ever created. Nope, it was all right there, and someone stole it right out of my house in broad daylight. I never saw it again. The thief did not take our DVD player. He did not take our television. He did not take my car keys or the stereo either. He didn't even take the laptop's power cord. Just the laptop. And of course my very reason for living. When I awoke from my cat nap, it took me a good half hour to realize the laptop was gone. I won't try to put into words what went through my head except to say this: all of my art was destroyed that day. I had no website, no hard drive, no printed copies. I felt like a victim of fire. I was completely alone with my grief. Ok I was able to salvage a couple things. While ravaging through my belongings looking for any sheet music I could find, I miraculously discovered some printed pages stuffed down into a drawer. The pages were the original versions of what would later become the third and fourth movements of my first piano sonata. I was also able to copy down from memory the scraps that would later become the last movement of my first string quartet. Other than those tidbits, everything else was taken forever. My entire career as a composer up to that point was a blank page. I'm not sure how long I waited until I tried to sit down and write something again. Maybe a month. Whenever it was, when I sat down in front of that blank page, I actually felt very free, despite my sadness (and rage). It was as if all my musical baggage had been tossed unceremoniously in the trash can. Whatever genre I had been trying to fit into, whatever musical puzzle I had been wrestling with, whatever inadequacies I felt about my completed work - they were all completely moot now. I was born anew. So I sat down and wrote a violin sonata. I had never written for the violin before, but my approach was to write as if the instrument could do anything I wanted it to do. I wrote that way for the piano too. No more feeling constrained by my own lack of pianistic ability. I put on that page whatever I damn well felt like. It felt good. And somehow, despite all the pain, the music was chipper. Even at my darkest moments, my music comes out chipper. Maybe it's just who I am, or maybe that's how I cope. My brain might feel all doom and gloom, but my music is sunshine and rainbows. This first movement is the first piece I wrote after my babies were taken from me. I completed the movement in March of 2007. It is very much a classical piece, straight up sonata form, repeat bar and everything. It might not be genre shattering, but it was a very open and freeing experience for me to write it. It's what I was feeling at the time. It's what had to come out.
This is my rondo in Bflat from my violin sonata. This piece is about the secret crush I had on my first music theory teacher, whose name was Meredith. I don't know where she is now, but this is my ode to our love. This is my first time sharing some of my music on this site. Thank you in advance to those of you who take a listen! The rondo is in ABACAB form, with a coda at the end.