for amplified string quintet (2 Vln, Vla, Vc, Cb) and fixed stereo audio
noun. fear that your connections with people are ultimately shallow, that although your relationships feel congenial at the time, an audit of your life would produce an emotional safety deposit box of low-interest holdings and uninvested windfall profits, which will indicate you were never really at risk of joy, sacrifice or loss.
-John Koenig, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
The catharsis of this collection of poems and accompanying musical scenes came with the first poem, Desolation, which I wrote during a car ride from St. Louis up to Beloit, Wisconsin. Barren, snow covered corn fields formed an unending, hypnotic landscape with the equally white skies, completely taking away my sense of distinction and corporeality. This setting brought about feelings I have long felt my whole life, of being isolated in large crowds of people, and finding difficulty investing in relationships with other people. John Koenig has compiled a large number of these feelings in his online dictionary, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I highly recommend reading through a few of these sorrows – they may describe you better than you can put into words.
I am wonderfully adept at hiding my sense of being alone, even when I have wonderful relationships with the people around me. To an extent, I suspect every person reading this has felt the same way at one point. Each of the coinciding poems were written around a different, unique emotion, that I feel constantly. That being said, I am enlightened enough to know every person’s life is as unique and vivid as my own, and some messages I have attempted to convey will resonate with certain individuals. Since the poems and music were composed and edited in conjunction with each other, I was not able to clearly articulate my thought processes and method of programmatic thinking. This leaves a large room for interpretation.
The pieces, while each conceived separately in their own right, also form a process of thought and programmatic narrative when heard together as a whole. I neglect to put forth my own mode of thinking, because I do not wish to influence the listeners’ interpretation, and indeed, I find it hard to adequately articulate my thoughts and feelings that come about through this collection. Therefore, the following pieces may be played together as a whole, or cherry-picked for certain programs.
-Cory Brodack, April 2018