...but for a moment

2020 - Wind Ensemble

This piece was written during the spring of 2020, just as the COVID-19 crisis began to reach its peak. As a senior at Cornell College, I had a tough time dealing with the fact that suddenly my college career was fundamentally changed, and that I would not get to do so many of the things I had been looking forward to. I found myself flooded with complex emotions as I began to think in retrospect about my time at Cornell. There were both good and bad times, but I longed for the good moments and memories that were suddenly and abruptly out of reach. I realized that everything we experience lasts for just a brief while before life goes on and things change. I needed a way to express this overpowering longing for those bright spots in the last four years, even as friends came and went and time went on. Thus ...but for a moment was created, a tribute to my college career and an expression of my intensely complicated feelings about Cornell College.


This work has special significance in the sense that it is my final piece from my undergraduate career. When this piece was written I was entering an uncertain time, both with the crisis and the looming decision as to whether to pursue engineering or music in graduate school. There was a real chance that this would be my final serious work for the foreseeable future. During the past few years I had come to recognize that the most important element of music for me was not melody, or harmony, or rhythm, but color. The interaction of timbres in space creating a musical field of vibrancy was how I had come to characterize music, and ...but for a moment was the first piece where I let myself commit fully to that idea.


I hope that the performers and audience will be able to enjoy this work as much as I enjoyed writing it. Even as time always marches forward, there will always be bright moments that make life worth living.

Time: 6:00

Grade 5 (Advanced)

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