Very happy to announce that I have been commissioned by the acclaimed chamber orchestra, Sinfonia Toronto, to compose a new ...
Countdown to a Recovering Brain
Categories: Concerts, Making Music
One of the exciting projects I have been working on this year is a new large-scale composition focused on bringing awareness to the invisible health impacts and struggles of having a brain injury. I composed the piece for bass clarinetist, Kathryn Ladano, a brain injury survivor herself. All of our work will culminate in a world premiere performance on June 11 in Kitchener, co-presented by NUMUS, the Ontario Brain Injury Association and the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington.
Composing Anatomy of the Recovering Brain was a special and enlightening experience for me. I wanted the piece to focus on the challenges that survivors faced, some for many months and years following their injury. Also, equally important was to share how survivors were succeeding in managing or even overcoming the challenges their injury created in their lives.
After hearing the testimonials of countless survivors, I settled on featuring the voices of 6 brain injury survivors within the fixed electronics part. They all have their own unique experiences, perspectives and personalities that is conveyed through the music.
While the bass clarinet is a constant live presence throughout the composition, other musicians wander in and out of the piece for brief cameos. This include vibraphonist, Richard Burrows, cellist, Morgan Lovell, pianist, Gregory Turner, and soprano, Pam Patel. Their poignant presence symbolizes the important people in our lives that are there to support us during the difficult times on our road to recovery.
Anatomy of the Recovering Brain is more than just a music composition. I also see it as an informative documentary, and more importantly, a community-engaged project. In composing this piece, I was emotionally moved by the many perspectives of survivors who describe their challenges and successes in overcoming the prolonged debilitating hardships of their brain injuries. My hope is that listeners who have suffered a brain injury will get a sense of comfort that they are not alone on their road to rehabilitation when listening to the piece. I also hope that the music will provide an enlightening exposé for those who have not battled a brain injury, motivating them to advocate for more awareness and services for those who have gone through this and create a level of understanding for their acquaintances who might be invisibly suffering. Most importantly, this is a work celebrating personal empowerment and overcoming any obstacle life throws at you.
I dedicate this composition to all brain injury survivors, including my friend, Kathryn, for her creativity, passion, bravery and perseverance in championing this work. I am grateful to the Ontario Arts Council, the Waterloo Region Community Foundation and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund for funding NUMUS’ commission.
If you can be in Kitchener on June 11, please do attend. I promise it will be a moving experience! ❤️
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