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Forward/Still (2023) 

Commissioned by the Oswego School District #308 Bednarick, Murphy, Plank, Thompson, and Traughber Junior High School Bands

Grade 3.5
duration: 4'45"

Full PDF Set $140 (purchase below)

It was around my middle school years that I really began to fall in love with rich, complex, jazz-based harmony. This commission seemed like the perfect opportunity to give musicians at a similar point in their lives the opportunity to discover these same harmonies. What ended up manifesting was a meditation of the weight of our current sociopolitical and geopolitical turmoil. Those rich harmonies took the form of a stillness - a sort of requiem or dirge that mourned any sense of collectivity that we may have once enjoyed, no matter how tenuous or fragile. What has provided a bit of comfort is the fact that each generation has contended with events that have tested their humanity and capacity for growth. One thing that has been made abundantly clear throughout our collective story is that standing still is never an option. We must continue to move forward to create space, safety, and opportunity for those of us with the least. This idea of moving forward is represented in the second section of the piece, with pushes its way upward towards our collective prosperity, in spite of the weight of the initial chorale. Following that is a brief, unresolved coda that reflects the uncertainty of our future and consequential nature of the decisions we make today. A deliberate sense of breath and heartbeat is created throughout the piece, reflected in the shapes of the phrases and in the spacious-yet-intentional percussion groove; the individual elements combining to create a living, breathing, unified body. May this piece serve as a meditative space, as catharsis, and as motivation to continue to search within ourselves to find what connects us all. Regardless of how hopeless circumstances become, we must move forward, still.

Forward/StillMIDI Mockup
00:00 / 05:26

Full PDF Set (Score + Parts): $140

Additional PDF Score: $25

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