ITW PROGRAM NOTES
Wenbin Lyu (b. 1994)
Germination refers to the process by which an organism grows from a seed. This concept inspired me to compose a piece in which I use the orchestra to replicate the process of a seed’s germination. After composing and revising the piece for a couple of months, however, my original idea had vanished and was replaced by new ideas. Most of the music was composed during the fall of 2019 when I noticed that the trees in Boston started to yellow, and it reminded me that germination is a process, the significance of which is to observe a seedling grow into a plant. Just like my music, the texture and harmony function as the branches and leaves of the plant, so I kept the original title for this piece, Germination.
— Wenbin Lyu
Dumka for Anya (2022)
Marc Mígo (b. 1993)
Initially, I named this piece Berceuse–Lament because of its rocking nature, usually attributed to the berceuse or lullaby, and its lament-like melancholy and formal traits. However, a serendipitous encounter with my good friend and outstanding violist Marta Lambert gave me a good reason to change this title. Marta introduced me to the genre of the dumka: being of Slavic origin, it translates as “thought,” and an agitated middle section often breaks its predominantly ruminative, elegiac mood. I found that the term dumka aptly synthesized the two names forming my initial title. It also highlights the work’s Slavic influences, in regard to both musical style and the dedicatee, who is my wife Anya. We first met in Lviv in 2015, and since then, I have felt a special affection and sympathy for Ukraine–her home country. Tragically, the Russian invasion of Ukraine broke out a little before I started working on what I would finally title Dumka for Anya. As I was composing it, I realized that the tribute to my wife also extended to her country. This piece is, therefore, an invocation to hope and healing.
— Marc Mígo
I’m everything that I am and everything that you think I am (2022)
Christian Quiñones (b. 1996)
For this piece I wanted to explore the duality of how I feel living in the U.S. and how my identity has become a huge part of that experience. In particular, the contradiction of how the idea of stereotypes and biases have become a big issue for me, but at the same time how I struggle with the notion that it is essentially impossible, or maybe futile, to try to be truly unbiased or not have preconceived notions about someone or something. Ultimately, how our biased construct of a person or an idea is is as real as is that person’s actual identity.
I was also interested in exploring how that dichotomy reflects in music, specifically my relationship with the standard orchestra repertoire and the traditional orchestral tropes. As a result, I started writing small notes on my phone about things that I thought were a core part of my identity (both musically and as a person) and contrasting that with common stereotypes that I would often hear. In the piece these two–or multitude–sides are in constant friction, fighting for attention. But because they are so chaotic, in the end, it might be hard to appreciate each individual side on their own merit, the “real identity” exists amalgamated to the outsider’s perspective. Because of this, I decided, in a peculiar way, to embrace that inevitable outcome. Embrace a version of me where all your expectations about who I am coexists with the way I see myself.
— Christian Quiñones