Just finished a new piece for Megan Ihnen and the Sleep Songs project. Scored for solo mezzo-soprano and fixed media (with optional percussion), VEIL is a wordless song for sleepless souls in the dead of night.
I’m often plagued by sleepless nights. I have the winning combination of taking several hours to fall asleep with being an extremely light sleeper, so seldom does a night go by without me waking up and staying up for several hours. Coupled with this is my mind’s inescapable habit of compounding every thought and worry I had during the day into a hyper-compressed play-by-play that appears to have a fondness for midnight screenings. A burning mind is no anecdote for insomnia.
I wanted to try and capture this relaxation-of-the mind in Veil. Restless thoughts are represented by rapidly changing radio stations that are chaotically overlapping each other. The white noise feels almost inescapable, like a static-electric fence, and outside that fence is a violet gold sunset, a glowing crepuscule inviting you to escape your anxious chains. The longer you stare into the sunset, the lighter the chains feel. They become so light that they feel as though they dissolve like the sand between your toes at high-tide. Pretty soon, you forget you had chains at all as you’re swept into honey lavender harmony.