i miss you so

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i miss you so is in ways one of my finest hours, and in ways one of my most challenging compositions to write to date. Initially, I had the phrase “I miss you so” bouncing around in my head, and the context in which my inner ear heard it was one of mourning and pain. However, I have not had any personal tragedies occur since the back to back passing of my Grandpa Vic and Uncle Shawn some years ago. Yet, this phrase kept poking me and poking me, and I couldn’t find how to use it.

It then occurred to me that there had been an uptick in mass shootings in the recent 18 months, and while unlike Stravinsky or Shostakovich, I prefer to keep politics out of my music. But, I had this strange urge to write on this sensitive subject. While at the end of the day, our political beliefs might not align and we might disagree, what I do know to be true amongst all the shouting and anger is this: any loss of life, no matter what the cause, is tragic; especially when that loss occurs on a large scale. Upon pinpointing that universal and moral fact, the ensuing text and music poured fourth in a quick torrent of inspired composing.

Eric Whitacre remains one of my compositional role models and provides for me hours of endless ear-candy and musical/personal introspection. In a statement that can be found on his website, he states that some of the measures in his fabulous work, A Boy and a Girl are, “some of the truest notes [he has] written.” I can easily say that measures 26-39 are indeed some of the truest notes that I myself have written, and may ever write. There’s just something about them when paired with the text that express an emotion that I can’t quite describe or place an identity with.

The text was written by myself using a technique that involves one speaker versus a group of speakers, the one speaker being the alto solo and the group of speakers the chorus. i miss you so contains some of my most dense writing to date, also playing with a Whitacre-esque style of chord clusters to convey emotion, and in my interpretation, the idea of a mourning group of people. Each note feels so emotionally charged, personal, and yet united in the common bond of grief. I hope this piece offers as much solace and introspection to the world as it has offered me.

This work will be available for purchase from Novus Music Publishing, Inc. in February, 2019.

The text:

i miss you so

you were taken from me.

                                                            from us.

you were so young,

                                                            so young,

so full of life.

                                                            full of life.

you were so strong

                                                            so strong

when met with strife.

                                                            when met with strife.

you were my child.

                                                            were my child.

you Are my child.

                                                            Are my child.

i miss you so.

                                                            we won’t forget.

we miss you so.

i miss you so.

Written in dedication to all of the parents who have lost children in mass shootings, honoring their grief and pain

Purchase scores here.

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