“In the Waves” was inspired by the Gauguin painting of the same name that I recently saw at the Cleveland Museum of Art, shortly after hearing the Cleveland Orchestra play Debussy’s “La Mer”. Both resonated with me deeply, because the ocean is a major source of energy for me. The plaque next to the painting says this work of art is “a metaphor for a modern European woman forsaking civilization and abandoning herself to her natural, primitive instincts.” Since how society is currently functioning makes less and less sense to me, most days I feel like doing what the woman in the painting is doing…taking action and surrounding herself only with what is beautiful, necessary, and true. I imagine this music capturing the moments that take place right before she flings herself into the sea.
Deep thanks to the NEXT Festival for Emerging Artists and Peter Askim – a colleague, friend, and a wonderful source of moral support many times since we have known each other and during my pivot in becoming a composer.