...ask questions later (2015)
Check out the entire concert recording with the NJSO and conductor David Robertson here
The first thing that I feel the need to explain about this piece is that the title is cynical. This piece is about gun violence, and about the permanence of consequences. I debated internally for quite a while about whether or not this was my piece to write, or more accurately, whether it was appropriate for me to give voice to my own opinions on the subject in such a public way. It seems apparent that there are growing number of people whose lives are cut short or torn apart by these disgusting events. This work is the manifestation of my own personal reactions to a seemingly unending stream of headlines in the summer of 2015, relaying the details of death after death after death of innocent people. The persistent (daily, in fact) influx of news of another mass murder had an increasingly intense impact on myself and those around me. The feeling of inability to effect change on the matter is a common one that I have felt and heard expressed by many people. This work explores the effects of violent choices. Once a dire action is taken there is a short while when its consequences have not yet occurred but when those consequences become inevitable; when those involved become helpless to change the outcome of what is happening. "…Ask Questions Later” is an exploration of the brief moment of inevitability between an explosion and its impact. I do not presume to offer a solution to change this current state of things in this music, but I do hope to call further attention to an urgent problem that absolutely must be solved.