All Kinds of Fires Inside Our Heads

for violin and pre-recorded electronics


”Moving Parts” from All Kinds of Fires Inside Our Heads. Performed by Che Buford


Premiered by Barbora Kolářova at The Carriage House at Lake George Music Festival on August 17th, 2022


10 minutes

Program Note

Earlier this year, I sustained an injury to my right wrist which ended up needing surgical intervention. Post-surgery, my right hand was splinted and immobile for nearly two months. During this time, I thought a lot about the processes of recovery and healing and how the mindset plays a vital role during it. I decided to use this as the inspiration for this work. ‘’All Kinds of Fire Inside Our Heads,’’ named after Nikki Wallschlaeger poem consists of three interconnecting movements, which show the conflict between the uncertainty I felt and my optimism despite all of it. 

In the first movement, ‘heartbeats’, this realization post-injury is hesitant, foreign, static, and painful. The work starts with agitated breathing that is processed with echo and delay. This then introduces a static ostinato, followed by jarring dissonances from the pre-recorded violin. The live violin and the track compete against each other throughout the whole movement but the live violin transcends this feeling. 

With the second movement, ‘moving parts,’ I envisioned my hand being like a machine with multiple components working together to rebuild. The track features persistent gestures that act as these components vigorously working together. A live violin plays music that is fearful but eventually breaks out into something indefatigable.

The last movement, ‘’Earth, You Have Returned to Me,’’ named after Elaine Equi’s poem represents the feeling of relief and gratitude I felt as my hand fully recovered. This movement starts with hesitant breathing, followed by a healthy exhalation. The music then responds in a calm, relaxed manner to the breathing.