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Drafts of a Love Letter (2023)

Technical Information:

guitar solo

Duration: 14

Written for JIJI 

Commissioned by TMTA

Premiered June 18, 2023, Waco TX

Jiji, guitar


Program Note:

“Drafts of a Love Letter” is a collection of miniatures written for solo guitar. The work was commissioned by TMTA (Texas Music Teachers Association) and written for Jiji. The three movements, “Love Poem After the Monsoons”, “Poem Written and Read Before Morning”, and “Love Sleep”, are primarily based on three poems of the same title, written by my brother, Justin Son.


Love can be a sad business that is never resolving nor peaceful. Likewise, these poems hold an endearing, loving voice, that nonetheless sounds like it has failed to reach its lover at the other end. By acknowledging the passing of a season, attempting to defy a coming sunrise, or encouraging a disheartened lover to rest, the poem begins to resemble intimate, unfinished love letters or incomplete romantic gestures to someone specific. Interestingly, however, it feels hesitant, bashful, and even lonely.


Some of my recent pieces, such as “The Last Smile of Love” and “Moonlight and Scooter” are also works that deal with the idea of love, which, though rapturous and intense, have an unshakable sense of longing. These feelings are often dusted away before they are vocalized—they are simply left as drafts of a love letter.

– Nicky Sohn

Love Sleep.heic
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