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Butterfly (2024)

Technical Information:


String Quartet

Duration: 6'

Commissioned by Cavani String Quartet

Premiere TBD 

Program Note:

"Butterfly" is a composition inspired by the enchanting journey of butterflies and the invigorating thrill of their journey of constant new beginnings. Commissioned in celebration of the Cavani Quartet's 40th-year anniversary, the composition serves as a reflection on their impactful past as well as an anticipation of their adventures that lie ahead.


Much like the initial liftoff of a resting butterfly, the work delves into its first measures with a small flutter of color and quickly finds itself in a delicate mid-air dance between curiosity and trepidation. From a graceful glide in lush paradise to uncontrolled spirals in strong winds, the flight we encounter in the work is one that imitates the butterflies we find not only in gardens but also inside ourselves. Rediscovering the flutter of butterflies within, I realized the profound beauty that comes with embracing vulnerability—the unpredictable yet exhilarating journey of feeling alive. It mirrors the journey of self-discovery and emotional rebirth. In my personal life, I thought I had lost the capacity for such emotions. It was only after this feeling resurfaced when I experienced a deep relief and a profound revelation that showed me the resilience of the human heart.


Emphasizing the exceptional and dynamic nature of a butterfly's life, the composition draws parallels between the quartet's journey and the lifecycle of these creatures. Celebrating every ending as a new beginning, "Butterfly" stands as a tribute to the enduring spirit of creativity and the limitless possibilities that come with embracing change. As the quartet marks four decades of musical excellence, this composition is created to evoke a sense of wonder, introspection, and the unceasing curiosity that accompanies the anticipation of the unexplored chapters yet to unfold.


Often times, allowing your heart to brave whatever that may come means being as helpless and futile as a butterfly in the wind. Still, like the Monarchs that embark on their strenuous migration that stretches for thousands of miles, these moments of breathtaking helplessness is something we must all take part in to survive.

– Nicky Sohn

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