Live Recording of 'Dusty Books' for string quartet and fixed media
Commissioned and premiered by 45th Parallel at Old Church Concert Hall, Portland, Oregon, 2/15/2019.
Old Church Concert Hall, Portland, OR USA
Gregory Ewer & Ron Blessinger, violins
Charles Noble, viola
Marylin de Oliveira, cello
It is an absolute honor of mine to participate in this wonderful project, “I Spat in the Eye of Hate and Lived,” by writing a new piece for string quartet and fixed media. Micah Fletcher was taking a music theory class from me when the tragic event, the MAX stabbing, occurred, and his courage left a very strong impression on me.
My piece, Dusty Books, is based on a poem written by Micah with the same title – a poem that addresses his personal transformation after the tragic event by asking several hypothetical questions. In my work, a plain melody that suggests the writer’s pristine psyche is intertwined with sound effects that translate the images of dust and water. These various musical components undergo dramatic metamorphoses creating subdued, violent, and hypnotic scenes. The surreal atmosphere of this piece was inspired by the “Portland Psychedelic” exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society Museum, which offered a fascinating perspective on how music has been interacting with the society and politics in this particular community.