(2022) | for cello & piano
VI. The Close
As a kid I had vivid dreams which were sometimes nothing more than changing shapes and abstract images. I have taken that as a sign of my active mind simply not stopping when I go to sleep. I’ve always found it hard to turn my mind off when falling asleep and I suffered from anxiety and insomnia a lot all the way through university.
It’s since gotten more manageable, and I’ve found ways to deal with it: lowering stress and anxiety throughout the day, prioritizing, exercising (running), and eating well. Still, I occasionally have a wacky dream of moving shapes which reminds me of those early childhood dreams/nightmares.
This is all about the beginning of a journey. This track has a lot of heart, and there’s this sweeping, singing connection between the cello and the piano which I can’t get enough of. This is the soundtrack to getting on a boat, starting off on a hike, boarding a train, meeting a special friend, or any other start of a story.
I struggle a lot with social anxiety, and I must build myself up to dive into many social situations. Something that has helped me cope with this is treating situations like a game – I just need to talk with these people, eat these snacks, make this joke, and then I will pass this level. Once I’m in any given situation I’m not necessarily actively thinking these things, but my mind plays with these ideas every so often as a way to disconnect from the natural anxiety I feel. This track reflects this game, and is quirky, bright & dark, and takes us on to the next level.
Heart-filled pain and longing drive this track. Whether it be heartache or nostalgia-driven memories, the pulsing piano and soaring cello in this piece tap into human yearning. Towards the end, the cello sings, then yells, then roughly distorts like that feeling in the pit of your stomach when things have changed forever.
I am fascinated by stillness, space, and quiet. That may sound strange coming from a musician who makes a lot of sound with other people in close quarters, but it’s true. I am drawn to music which stretches our perception of time and takes us on a long ride through uncharted waters. As you can probably tell, I’m sinking into the journey metaphors throughout this album. This track floats and glides with both a stillness and a pulling thread of movement to guide us from the pain of the previous track into the hopeful optimism of the next.
Let’s go. I’m a runner, and I’m in a span of my life when I’m training for a marathon every year (2021: Halifax, 2022: NYC, 2023: Chicago, 2024: Montreal). This track runs and comes from my personal need to escape, to get away from everything, and get out on the trail/track/road for hours at a time. Running has helped me immensely to deal with the pressures of being a performing artist, and this piece is me taking you for one of those runs, right to the last stomp.
VI. THE CLOSE
“I open at the close” – I can’t talk about my childhood imagination without mentioning Harry Potter. It is a world which took me away for hours at a time, and each time I revisit the story, I am immediately transported. This track takes musical ideas from “I. First”, moves them around and reorders them. The cello plays in the violin range, so even with this repetitive folky melody, we sense that something is a bit different and more special.
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