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The summer is an especially important time for me. After high school, while my friends went overseas for university, I served in the military. While I was still in training, the summer was the most likely time for me to see them again, as that was when they would come back for holiday. On top of that, as an international student here in Boston, the summer is the only substantial period of time where I am able to see my family and friends again.

The summer, for me, is thus essentially about connections and collaboration. The texts chosen for this piece were provided by several different poets (Greg Nahabedian, David Dogan, Sarayu Iyengar and Felix Aguilar Tomlinson). I asked them to write about their feelings and impressions of what it means to experience their summer. The piece connects these texts and uses changing and ambiguous modalities and text settings to give respect to each poet while preserving a sense of connection and coherence.

A Forgotten Summer depicts a distant memory of a summer at the beach. As the piece progresses, we hear different poems telling their own versions of that summer/of more recent summers. The piece returns to the original thematic material at the end of the piece, now informed by our own maturity, and from others' perspectives. Was that beautiful, nostalgic, summer at the beach really that wonderful, or was it rather a dark, stormy memory, stained red with sorrow?

About the work

A Forgotten Summer (2018)

for mixed choir

Premiered by the Boston Conservatory Chorale at the Boston Conservatory on 15th February, 2018. Conducted by Nathan Reiff.


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