Solo album (featuring Peter Kramer, composer/pianist)
New Focus Recordings (June 2023)
Violins are built to outlive us – the ones who play, hear, and care for them. After we’re gone, what of us does the instrument carry forward into its next life? After someone is gone, how does their presence resonate in the objects of significance they leave behind, and in those who feel their absence?
I explore these questions in the telling of a story about my own instrument: once the violin of my former teacher Elise Christianson, who tragically died young and left the violin to me, her then thirteen year old student. It’s been my only instrument since that time, and the instrument that this album was made on.
A violin — with its human-like torso, organic materials, and ability to be continuously remade — is itself a touchstone of many culturally held beliefs about our own bodies, preservation, mortality, and revivification. The instrument’s arboreal essence and origins bring questions of growth, death, time, and memory into its story, too. The idea of instrument “memory” also inspires the compositional practice of my collaborator Peter Kramer, whose work here adds layers of meaning to the exploration of presence and absence in an object.
This project features a companion text alongside three works composed by Peter Kramer (Procession Fragments, Children’s Toccata, and There Was New Snow After This) and recorded by Chris Kincaid. Made with support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
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