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Wine and Whispers (2018)

Wine and Whispers is the first movement of the larger orchestral work On Becoming Ordinary (2018). On Becoming Ordinary is a series of three symphonic poems depicting imaginary scenes from my childhood. Over time, these scenes grew in my mind as narrative abstractions. They're visuals which, for me, highlight in detail both the good and the bad aspects of growing up in my hometown. None of these scenes are depictions of actual events. Instead, they represent specific facets of the community blown up into their most archetypal form. Wine and Whispers depicts an otherwise pleasant dinner party turned sour. Guests arrive, drinks are poured, and a young couple, new to the community, watches the others closely. They're observing the other guests perform endless bouts of verbal acrobatics. Speaking neither too much, nor too little, they perform this dance with utmost coordination, using their words to size one another up. All of a sudden, someone makes a mistake. He lets loose a family secret! Helplessly, the young couple watches the tension take form and grow monstrous. Hovering first as a dark a cloud over the party, it then sweeps down to destroy the atmosphere entirely.