Portraits of Wartime

2013 | for SATB choir w/divisi, SATB incidental soloists, and violoncello | 7’

The 21st century is a fascinating and terrifying time to be a young adult. The world is more interconnected— and more fraught with division and uncertainty— than ever before. Communication is expanding, political alignments are shifting, and my generation is inheriting a world that all too often seems to teeter on the brink of chaos and confusion. Yet the concept of increasing entropy is far from a new one, and there is comfort in the fact that every generation seems to have its trials by fire. In contemplating these themes I was drawn in particular to the zeitgeist surrounding and immediately preceding World War I, nearly a hundred years ago. Artists and intellectuals debated the aesthetics the new century required; governments eyed each other’s revolutions warily across increasingly undefined borders; and a young man my age would have been more than old enough to fight and die for his country. Portraits of Wartime is a sonic exploration of those things that seem to remain constant generation after generation, whether that be the winds of change, the fearful pounding of wars, or the faithful beauty of the stars.

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