For Strings and Piano


· With Freedom, My View Is Far, My Reach Unknown ·

Freedom: the ability to act, change, communicate, or think without hindrance.

Freedom is aligned with liberty (physical, psychological, spiritual, religious, social, political, and economic), autonomy (informed, uninhibited decision), and free will (the ability to choose between different courses of actions).

One person's idea and experience of freedom can be another's ordeal.

I value freedom, but I am not an advocate of unfettered freedom: freedom not limited by convention, rule, law, or controlling influence. Unfettered freedom leads to harm.

Although the music is constrained instrumentally (all sounds are made by strings moving), it is characterized by change.

The music moves freely from short crisp sounds to long gestural movements, from notes played on the beat in a classical manner, to those off the beat in a syncopated jazz style. From single sounds to many. From high to low. The timing of the piece is free of static measure with frequent and subtle changes in speed.

At times the piece is ponderous, and at others, exuberant.

Although music cannot explicitly convey meaning, it can serve as a trigger to thought and feeling. The name and context of this music (Freedom, the fifth in a suite of ten pieces presented at The Rights of Living Things) serves to expand its spell.

Creating an artwork that adequately expresses freedom is a daunting and challenging task. Freedom encompasses a great many ideas, and my first drafts were complex maze-like structures that expressed freedom through its absence rather than its presence. Ideas that I also jettisoned included elements from a vintage typewriter as a way to symbolize how freedom has so often been considered and defended by writers, and a figurative work that symbolized freedom through dreamlike forms and childhood.

The final image I published alongside the music is more ephemeral. A gesture of emanating light and energy. After much pondering my view is that freedom is a quality of experience, and in this it is dynamic and different at any given time, and for every living thing.

I view freedom as invaluable to my being, an aspiration for others, and a moving context to consider my place and actions.