24 January, 2018, Schulich Hall, McGill University, Montreal
Marc Djokic, violin
Tears was composed in 2006 while I was a student at the University of Toronto, and at the height of my infatuation with the violin. In 2017 I revised it for the purposes of this recording, condensing it considerably and adding a new ending that I believe suits the narrative better. I am grateful to Marc Djokic for performing Tears for the first time and for bringing his uniquely stirring sensibility to this work. In creating this piece I drew inspiration from Bach's Chaconne in D minor, whose dramatic three-part arc influenced the architecture and tonal centre of my own piece; as well as Berio's Sequenza VIII, whose searing narrative made a stunning impression on me as a student. My title is associated with the most intense of human feelings: the tears that fall when we are overcome by grief...or by joy. In this piece I have tried to depict both the physical aspect of tears - the cascading rivulets, the accompanying tremors and shudders of the body - as well as the emotional states that produce them.