Only a Beginning

February 21st, 2016

New Choral Society Chamber Music Concert

Ani Gregorian, violin
Jessica Meyer, viola

“Probing the meaning of sacrifice, the duet began with a wandering, mournful theme that eventually opened up to vigorous angst…the piece ended with hope: Cuckson played a delicate, major melody with minimal vibrato and Meyer held a low open C, the sound fading away into silence.”

National Sawdust Log


“Only a beginning” was inspired by words and music I interacted with during the Summer of 2015. The title comes from Indira Ghandi’s quote: “Martyrdom does not end something, it is only a beginning.” I happen to stumble upon this quote after a week of performing Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” at Caramoor and a chance encounter of hearing a friend sing the “In Paradisum” of the standard Catholic Funeral mass. With all of these events coinciding, I could not help but reflect on what sacrifice means – what we think it means, and how it actually plays out in everyday life. We may sacrifice things for God, our spouse, our children, our family, our friends, sometimes even for people we don’t even know. This piece explores what can happen to us emotionally in this act of giving, and what we ultimately learn about ourselves in the process.