My most recent orchestra work Still I Rise! has been chosen for the Earshot Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra Readings and Competition. Along with compositions by four other emerging composers, the ICO will workshop my piece and present it in a public concert on Sept. 23 at 7 pm. Full details about the ICO Readings, including profiles of all of the composers, can be found here.
The music is inspired by Maya Angelou’s eponymous poem. Her words express a profound sentiment of perseverance: they reflect not only surviving hardships, but coming out of them with one’s spirit in tact. The narrator’s sassiness, quirky humor, and energy are manifested in the music’s grooves, flirty lines, and vibrant colors. Angelou’s theme of endurance is expressed as the main motive, or “protagonist,” travels through periods of confidence, adversity, manic excitement, questioning, and catharsis. Even when the identity of the main motive is almost obliterated by the heavy, static chords of the climax, it emerges to close the piece with a wink and a flourish —always rising again.
I began the work during a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2014. Since then, I have worked on it in Spain, Canada, across the U.S., and here at home–actually, in three different homes–in Connecticut. This will be the piece’s first performance, and I am very happy that the music will be brought to life soon!