parting (2018)

for large chamber ensemble

dedicated to Jono


fl.(=pic.), ob., 2 cl. (2/bcl.), 2 sax. (alt., ten.), bsn. – hn., tp., b. tbn. – glock., vib., timbales (14′, 15′), sus. cymb. (16′) – str. (


c. 10'


December 2018, Royal College of Music, London
RCM New Perspectives Ensemble, under Timothy Lines

Orchestral score available for reference on UCLA eScholarship Contemporary Music Score Collection; preview score here
arts available upon request

Programme note

My life closed twice before its close —
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Parting, by Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)
Public domain

In the face of inevitable goodbyes, Dickinson’s words resound with weighty, mortal resignation. Yet beyond the pall of desolation there is a sliver of light— that ever so ineffable vision of transcendence, of which we can merely fathom with our temporal minds. In this piece, I allow Dickinson’s poem to fill my imagination as I give vent to that equivocal sense of anguish and yearning.