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Sé que en la sombra hay Otro
Solo Piano

10 minutes


Commissioned by Clare Longendyke for her Requiem for the Adrift and Shattered.

Premiered by Clare Longendyke at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN. January 2023.

Program Notes:


When Clare Longendyke approached me about this commission in early 2022, I was excited about the prospect of writing for such an accomplished musician. The idea of being part of a collective Requiem for our time was something that I found powerful and compelling. I was also thrilled to see that the Requiem would include movements by other amazing composers, and that our works could be in dialog as they each weave their musical narratives of grief, pain, and solace. My original idea was to write something having to do with the current Venezuelan crisis, a subject that has been a common thread in much of my work in the last few years.

In a cruel and ironic twist of fate, my dear brother Manuel passed away later that summer. His sudden death left me adrift and shattered. This project would become a personal Requiem in my brother's honor. I simply did not have ability to expand beyond my own very real and present grief.

The work is an attempt to search for the meaning in the senseless. The music is always reaching towards a sense of resolution, a longed-for answer that never arrives. Echoes of vaguely folk-sounding music emerge and subside once again. I have not yet been able to find resolution for my feelings of grief and the music reflects that.

The title of the work comes from a line from a poem by Jorge Luis Borges titled "El laberinto" (The Labyrinth). The poem is clearly not about grief, but about the Minotaur thinking about his own fate in the labyrinth hearing an Other in the distance who is searching for him. In the weeks since my brother's passing this metaphor of the layrinth became a powerful one, and my grief has taken on an almost real persona, like an Other that I can hear and sense as I look for answers in the cul-de-sacs brought about by the grief.

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