the eye above the mask (2022)

for string trio

Commissioned / Premiere

Commissioned by Shelter Music Boston for 2022 Julie Leven Artist Project: Voices of Hope.


five minutes

Program Note

When I read Devin J Simons’s poem, the eye above the mask, I had a very hard time pinpointing one emotion or idea that the work was about. The writing has a very unique abstract quality to it that I found intriguing. With my work, I found myself being inspired by the form that the poem follows. The first stanza describes shyness and yearning, the second – searching and recollection, and the third comes back to reflecting and questioning. The piece starts off repeating one note that wants to go somewhere. As the piece develops, the work searches through emotions of fear, melancholia, optimism, and hope. The end returns to material from the beginning but in a slightly different context. Like in much of my work, creating a memory aspect was something of importance in this piece.

When Shelter Music Boston asked me to write this piece, I was extremely excited to partake in the project that celebrates the collaboration between poetry and music to encourage compassion and empathy for people experiencing homelessness. Both things are extremely meaningful to me as an artist.