Deer Friend (2021)
flute, violin, cello, piano
Commissioned by the Avalon Music Consort
Premiered May 2022
Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute; Ari Streisfeld, violin; Claire Bryant, cello; Phillip Bush, piano; Jeff Francis, recording engineer; and Michael Calamas, videographer; Southern Exposure New Music series: J Michael Harley, Artistic Director and David Kirkland Garner, Assistant Director
Twenty thousand acres of stillness and a vast stretch from home, my residency at the UCross Foundation sparked the inspiration for “Deer Friend”. My first morning was full of visitors, but not the kind I was used to—a wild turkey, a fox, small birds of all colors and song, a kaleidoscopic mix of wildlife. Unsure of whether to be skeptical of these new, unfamiliar looking loiterers, or to embrace the presence of the colorful bunch just as a Disney princess is often seen doing, my first few hours upon waking were so different from what I had known.
Although I was at the highest degree of isolation that one can perhaps be at on Planet Earth, I felt sound—at home. Seeing the green unendingly stretch into the infinite horizon, rerooting my urbanized psyche into the small of the Bighorn Mountains, I was rewinding to a forgotten past where my dreams looked exactly like my reality. Out of all visitors I welcomed, my childhood was perhaps the most surprising one of them all. Writing “Deer Friend” was my best attempt at making that feeling a little more tangible.
– Nicky Sohn