For Jessica

for Soprano, French Horn, and Piano

In the spring of 2015 I had the pleasure of meeting a phenomenal french horn player named Jessica Pinkham.  After performing on a different work of mine she approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing a piece specifically for her.  A while later Jessica came to me with two poems she had previously written, "The Volcanologist" and "Biome".  Although written as individual works I saw vague but I felt interesting narrative structure across the poems and so I agreed to set them.  In "The Volcanologist" I attempt to capture the text very literally about a volcanic eruption and humanity's inability to fully comprehend the complexity of this amazing planet we inhabit. "Biome" explores a more psychological side of human nature.  While not explicit in its setting, I took the grey and ashy imagery to represent the aftermath of the volcano.  But in this aftermath the inhabitants of the city are not physically damaged.  Instead they have check out mentally, becoming grey like ash.  The piano is incessant throughout this movement in order to portray the ever present weight of reality.  Meanwhile the soprano and horn engage in a constant call and response, frequently overlapping, but never quite fully connecting.

This work is dedicated to Jessica Pinkham, who has been a fast friend and supporter from the moment we met.