the... of my... are an... (2016)

saxophone quartet [satb]


This piece operates as a depiction of my struggles with depression and the various issues that I have had to deal with as a result. The title refers to the phrase “the inner machinations of my mind are an enigma,” which is a quote stated by one of the characters in a popular, light-hearted children’s cartoon. Omitting the key words from this quote creates a vague, unintelligible phrase that represents my inability to complete thoughts while suffering from a depressive episode, as well as my confusion about why I am experiencing such adversity.

I’ve crafted the sound world of this piece by working with the following programmatic concepts in mind: the static presence of apathy, the fear of mental instability, self-deprecation, an aversion to public interaction, and a slowly developing search for some way to move past these tendencies. The four voices of the quartet shift between working in tandem and working against one another in order to portray these concepts, at times implementing exceedingly abnormal sounds which emphasize the strangeness of my episodes.

{score excerpts}

Duration: c. 14'

comissioned by the Kenari Quartet, through the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program

A comprehension of the title’s missing words – revealing the complete phrase to which I have been referring – characterizes my coming to terms with the nature of what I have been experiencing, and my realization that hardship does not prevent progress or growth.