I composed Rising Up to vent my feeling of powerlessness about the approaching 2020 presidential election. With a nod to Bach, the word “vote” is embedded in the structure. (In repeating the 7 letter musical alphabet across the 26 letter alphabet, “V”=“A”, “O”=“A”, “T”=“F”, and then there’s “E”.) Musically these tones happen to work together very well. I use the motif at several cadence points throughout the piece.
As the lower strings descend, the upper strings scream and cry and wonder why, and how to rise up from the bottom. The piece journeys through changing emotional states as it seeks resolution. The music also draws inspiration from the words of Dostoevsky. “…we shall be in chains and there will be no freedom, but then, in our great sorrow, we shall rise again to joy…” – Dostoevsky, from The Brothers Karamazov
Rising Up for string orchestra is an expanded version of String Quartet No. 3.
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