Absolutely wonderful premiere of “to have seen the worst…” yesterday by the Quad City Wind Ensemble in Davenport, IA. Many thanks to all the performers for their hard work, to Susan Hanford for approaching me about writing the piece, and of course to Brian for pulling it all together.
I have not experienced a darker time in my life than when I was writing this piece – it was, in all ways, a struggle. There were many times during the process that I almost sent the email returning the commission. I think at one point, I actually had an email open! Writing music is hard, made only more difficult when your head is filled with a sad, sad buzzing.
But in a big way, this is what ‘it’ is all about. Making music is a great force of healing – pushing through the process helped me move on and now, with the piece out in the world, I truly feel relieved. As my dear friend and mentor David Maslanka has said, “make music like your life depends on it…because it does.” No doubt I am in a better place now because of this experience, hard as it was. I only hope that some of that came through the notes on the page to the performers, and to the friends of wind ensemble who came out to celebrate this truly special ensemble.