for SSAA and piano
Commissioned as a collaboration with the Columbus High School Treble Choir and Mark D. Lefeber, conductor.
In early 2016, Mark approached me with the idea of writing a piece for his high school treble choir to fit into his concert theme of Empowering Women. We explored various texts, ideas, and themes, but in collaborating with the women, it became apparent to us all that we didn’t want to be reiterating someone else’s words. We could create a piece all our own. In diving deeper, however, we realized that the majority of the female experience is wrapped up in exactly what others say about us and their opinions on makeup, behavior, appearance, ambition, etc.
Through this discovery, “Autobiographical” was born.
The piece begins aleatorically with the women speaking negative statements people have said about them, all using the words “You” or “You are”. Through the musical material, they describe how frustrating the daily situation is, but to counteract that and live boldly and unapologetically in their truth, they demand to take back the narrative:
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