Evening Shadows - Process:

I based this piece of off a cello solo from my childhood, Tchaikovsky's Chanson Triste, literally "Sad Song." It was a simple piece that I learned at a young age and quickly moved on from. I kept coming back to it, though, for years afterward. Its simplicity is part of its beauty and power. I find it very evocative of profound sadness that can never be satisfied. I selected a segment at the end of the piece, where the recapitulation of the opening occurs. I wanted to keep the ending, because the last few bars are key in defining the emotion that plays such a big part in the piece.

In creating the visuals for this composition, I first considered the cello's deep, melancholy tone. I immediately thought of dark colors and shadows to mimic the dark tone of Tchaikovsky's score. Then I thought that the emotion behind the piece could have been inspired by unrequited love. The magic happened when I combined the two ideas: a shadow has fallen in love with its owner. It seems to me it would be very sad to be a shadow in love. One would have no control over when or where or how you would meet one's owner. Furthermore, one would never be able to have physical contact with the owner, and yet one is always bound to him or her. In telling this story, I tried to mimic the arsis and thesis of Chanson Triste to emphasize the emotional tension and release of the music.