Joy was originally conceived as the second movement of a suite for string quartet, commissioned originally as a wedding gift for a couple I did not know. Late in 2008 I had the opportunity to rework this particular movement as a concert piece for solo violin and string orchestra, and in doing so revised the composition itself to reflect aspects beyond a state of pure celebration. Primarily through-composed, Joy is in essence a 'song without words' whose central, meditative melody is expressed by the violin in sweeping vocal lines across the span of the work. Far too often it is only in the absence of something dear to us that we are able to see with utter clarity its value in our lives. The experience of loss is an awakening, and it is no surprise that joy and grief—both painfully acute experiences of overwhelming love—are expressed in such similar ways. Joy is a tribute to these sentiments, and a plea to cherish the precious things in our lives, while they remain.