My new work to be premiered at the HighScore Festival. My fourth String Quartet, I decided to try something new to challenge my understanding of time and timbre. I hope you enjoy! Recording won't be available until August, but if you would like to view the score and Midi Realization please feel free to reach out.
On June 1st, 2019, my Great Aunt Nora Schmied (Arias) born in Santiago, Chile in 1919 turned 100 years old. It was a momentous occasion, and nearly 100 people shared this day with her as we crowded around her hospice bed. She was in fine spirits after nearly 3 years of declining health as is normal with someone in their late 90’s. As her family and friends gathered around sharing stories of all that this special woman had done for them. The biggest theme was that she loved God, family, and music. I had been very close with Aunt Nora my whole life, and despite living in a different state, I had been fortunate enough to visit her almost 4 times a year for the past few years including for this occasion. After the party, I flew back home to Michigan knowing very well that this was probably the last time I would ever see her.
On June 4th, 2019, Nora Schmied died. I immediately got on a plane and flew back to Arizona. The funeral was widely attended by the same friends and family that celebrated her life. I learned a lot about all this spectacular woman had achieved including immigrating from Chile to the United States to complete a degree in Music Education. At the age of 83, she began teaching piano lessons to members of her community free of charge shortly after her husband Jose died, because she wanted to share her love of music with the deserving children of Arizona.
As I was reflecting on my 28 years with Aunt Nora and thinking about her 100 years and 3-day life I began to wonder. Will any of us ever get to live to be 100? As I was writing this String Quartet an article popped up in my Facebook feed which was a little fear mongering, and slightly exaggerated the facts but impacted my thinking on this question. It claimed that human civilization could collapse in the 21stcentury if we didn’t make changes immediately. The scientific community nearly unanimously agrees that humans are the central cause of climate change, yet the politics of climate change have made fixing the problems nearly impossible.
This piece is the synthesis of my emotions related to my aunt, and the scary future we have ahead of us that many of us will not get to live to see our 100thbirthdays – despite modern medicine extending the lifespan of humanity. The exaggerated gestures compared to the inaction, that leads to sparsity that is the future of earth if we don’t make changes.
Cover art was done by the composer and was taken in an Airplane just flying into Michigan.