The commissioners have exclusive performance rights until March 1, 2022 and exclusive recording rights until September 1, 2022.
RoseWood Duo (Clifford Leaman, saxophone, and Scott Herring, marimba)
When RoseWind Duo’s Clifford Leaman and Scott Herring commissioned me for Silver Linings, we could not have anticipated that we would be in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic when I composed the piece. In the early summer of 2020, when the three of us met virtually to discuss possible topics, we had all been in lockdown for several months; the causes and effects of the lockdown were at the forefront of our discussion. In the midst of daily tragedies, I had been seeing news stories using the words “silver lining” to describe unexpectedly positive situations arising from our global situation, ranging from small effects (i.e. people having time to work on projects they never could get around to doing) to global ramifications (resurging animal populations in areas where they’re no longer challenged for space with humanity).
Silver Linings consists of two movements. Groundhog Day, the first movement, is slow and brooding. It embodies the strong feeling of déjà vu that so many of us experienced early on into lockdown, as we seemed to live the same day repeatedly with minor variances to our schedules. There are two main musical gestures: the first opens the piece as a slow, ascending minor chord which is a representation of uncertainty, and the second is a falling minor scale. These gestures depict how our lives were reduced to the basic building blocks of life – wake up, eat, work, eat, sleep – as our daily activities and livelihoods were suddenly knocked down. These same two gestures are utilized in the energetic second movement, Making Lemonade, except that they are spun around to reveal their silver linings: the minor chord falls to sound centered and decisive, and the minor scale rises as it bubbles with activity. Among the seeds of despair are also found seeds of hope, and the saxophone and marimba explore this hopefulness with great vigor and excitement.