About Elegy III
I was a graduate student at UCSB when the Isla Vista Massacre happened in 2014. All of us on campus were deeply affected, and some came quite close to being in the line of re. Not long after it my fellow composition students and I decided to put on a memorial concert. I wrote a piece called Elegy II, for solo viola, for that concert.
Here is the program note for Elegy II:
This piece reuses some melodic material from my first elegy, which I had written for my grandmother’s funeral a few years earlier. Both end on a major third. For the first elegy, I considered that a way of embracing a future in uenced by the love for and memories of her. For this one, I’m not so sure. At best, it feels like an honest wish for healing. In the face of the daily murder of innocent people, it feels like a hollow gesture. In any case, if the piece brings someone some comfort, I am glad for that.
As it turned out, it wasn’t a hollow gesture. Audience members at that concert told me they were quite comforted by the piece and grateful that we had put on the event.
Now, in November of 2018, I find myself writing Elegy III for a concert in Thousand Oaks, my hometown, following the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting, which is the 308th mass shooting in the US this year, as well as a set of massive fires that have destroyed thousands of homes. I wrote a blog post about writing elegies, which you can read by clicking here.
The melodic material is again quite similar, but this time around the piece takes the form of a duet for two of the same instrument.
The sheet music is available as a free download so that musicians can perform it without hassle whenever a community or listener may be in need of healing.
If this piece is included on a concert with an admission fee, I ask that the presenters donate a reasonable portion of the proceeds to Never Again. Information on this charity is available at neveragain.com.
Perfomances of Elegy III
- 12/15/2018 Ashley Walters, Miriam Wu St. Matthew's United Methodist Church Thousand Oaks, CA