As a composer, one of the steps in the creative process that I often find mentally difficult to grapple with ...
One can expect that the week leading up to an album release would be hectic. I should know since I’ve done it 8 previous times. But releasing For Those Who Died Trying was the mother of all hectics! But in a good way. These past 8 days, I don’t think I had more than 4-5 hours of sleep each night…but I didn’t care.
This craziness was all just fine because the effort to share this music was well worth it since it’s all about the subjects of the music – a group of dedicated human rights activists in Thailand (HRDs). They all were killed or have gone missing. How are their families feeling? Their perseverance is what kept me going this past week.
I guess what made this week hectic wasn’t just the album release, but the awareness campaign we’ve started in conjunction with it. #music4HRDs is all about getting string quartets from around the world to share a performance online of 1 of the 35 movements from The Thailand HRDs. Album release day was special but World Human Rights Day coming up on December 10 feels even more special. Our social media initiative is based around that date. Because of this, the opportunity to share this music has grown from one day to practically a month. This makes me so happy because it will give a platform for others to learn more about these courageous HRDs and hopefully enjoy some new chamber music at the same time.
Last night was one of those recent regular long nights. Lisa and I were keeping our eye on Spotify to see when the album would be available on their platform. Around midnight, it was posted. While typing away at messages and emails, I decided to start playing the album. That was sort of a weird thing to do because I’ve had the album on my computer for months…so there’s no need to listen online. But for some reason, I wanted to experience it as most would. As I sat there, I was filled with this indescribable amount of joyous energy. I reminded myself what amazing musicians the Mivos Quartet are. Each of the movements resonated within me like a flood of fire. I thought of the HRDs that each movement was based on. I also thought about how I’m so proud of what I have accomplished compositionally. I also thought of how much I want people to hear this music. And I felt an incredible amount of gratitude for all the many individuals and orgs that made this project come to life.
For most recording artists, an album release day is a culmination. But for this album, I feel like it’s only the beginning.