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The Art of Remembering

chamber ensemble
fl. cl. perc (glock, marimba, chimes, temple blocks, bass drum) pno. vl. vla. vcl.
9 minutes

Premiered by:
Aspen Contemporary Ensemble
Sydney Hodkinson, cond.

August 10, 2007 - Aspen, CO

live recording:
Aspen Contemporary Ensemble

About the piece:

The Art of Remembering is about my grandmother, Taimi, and more specifically, about the way she tells stories.  She was born in Estonia in 1922 but in 1944 was forced to flee when the Red Army invaded.  Over the next five years she lived through an amazing series of escapes and adventures finally making it to the United States in 1949.  During the war she had lost almost everything - her homeland, husband and promising career as a young concert pianist.  In recent years, my grandmother has often told me stories about this time.  I love hearing her stories and particularly hearing the way she tells them.  There is a calm lilt, something serene about her voice, as if she were speaking about something very ordinary.  But every now and then her voice will break for a moment, or she will pause and it becomes clear that there is a pain and sorrow beneath the placid surface of her storytelling that is still quite raw.  It is this sense that I tried to capture in my piece.