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Fortunes unfolded (2023)

Technical Information:

2 violins, viola, cello

Duration: 7'30"

Commissioned by Bergamot Quartet

Premiered September 8, 2023


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Program Note:


Life is full of unexpected events, and we all long for the ability to see into the future. Instability and uncertainty can create volatility and frustration in our daily lives. In those moments, we turn to various sources of comfort, whether spiritual, religious, or coping mechanisms, to guide us down unexpected paths and help us find meaning in our pain. As we search for answers and ways to overcome grief and hopelessness, we may become desperate, clinging to any sign that our pain has a greater purpose and that things will get better.


In the spring of 2023, my friend gifted me a deck of Tarot cards during a time when I was vulnerable and in pain from losing someone dear to me. These cards provided me with the power to move forward and helped me to cope with my situation. I pulled six cards to reflect on my past, present, and future, which became the foundation and inspiration for my piece.


These six cards seemed to depict a journey from darkness to light, instability to stability, and painful changes leading to a stronger community. They became the foundation and inspiration for my piece, Fortunes Unfolded. Throughout the writing process, I felt a sense of moving forward, letting go, and growing.

My past relationship has been undoubtedly the biggest inspiration for my music for the past several years, but this experience also led me to understand that my music reflects and documents my growth as a person. With both joy and heartbreak brought into my life, my past had ultimately shaped me into the person I am today.


Despite my realizations, growth, and learning, moving on is still a difficult task. Nights without sleep, vivid dreams of him, and the constant longing make it challenging to move forward. The final section of my work portrays this state of mind. While being able to see the future would be a great comfort, all I can do is hope for a better tomorrow. The piece concludes with me falling asleep, symbolizing my journey towards acceptance and peace.


I am grateful to the Bergamot Quartet for providing me with the opportunity to grow and develop, both as a composer and as a person.

– Nicky Sohn

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