we fade

for 12 trumpets
Written for the Shenandoah Conservatory Trumpet Ensemble.
Premiered at a Veteran's Day Presentation at Shenandoah Conservatory; Nov. 7, 2015.
we fade was a collaboration with Susan Lehrer, a combat veteran who participated in an outreach program hosted by the Shenandoah Conservatory theatre devision.  At this program, Susan wrote a striking, beautiful poem, which is written out below.  I was then asked to write a musical response.  The result is a work about the futility and effervescence of life.  Susan's poem reads as follows:
Untitled

I feel as though I am about to break
Into a million little pieces
The explosion erupting from deep within
With deafening silence and white screams
Silenced by white heat and carried away
On silver smoke
Headed for a black sky


I lie in ashes
And burning embers
As my memory burns away the smoke makes me sleep

The burns are too great to feel any pain
Waves of grief rise above the pile
That was me
Like heat from the desert floor
Desperately hoing for an oasis


Slowly the fire burns until nothing is left
And the sind carries away the ashes to the sea
Weightless

And at last

Free

Performance by the Shenandoah Trumpet Ensemble: