“Home” was written in tandem with the Women’s Home, a rehabilitation facility that strengthens communities and supports families while women overcome their addiction.
Along with violinist Mary Grace Johnson and choreographer Kayla Collymore, I had the privilege of interviewing three women who had gone through the rehabilitation program at the Women’s Home. Inspired by these women’s hardships, unique odysseys, and remarkable perseverance, “Home” invokes the lifecycle of the Phoenix, a mythological creature that is swallowed by its own flames and is reborn from its ashes. Much like the immortal and fearless Phoenix, these three women rose from the ashes of their past, reborn with a new hope for the future.
When I began this work, I was determined to stay true to myself musically while continuing to challenge my compositional boundaries. I wanted my embrace of a new compositional approach to reflect and honor the vulnerability of a new life journey. This was my way of paying respect to the experiences of these extraordinary women. The resulting piece expresses pain in a raw and truthful light while serving as a larger commentary on the the cruel and unrelenting nature of the world. Most importantly, it intends to pay homage to individuals who choose to shoulder great burden in order to find a brighter path.
When sharing their accounts, all three women acknowledged what’s done is done. They believed that the the individual is in control of the ways in which life unfolds. Pain can transform into something new, and through the scorching flames and the resulting ashes, a new life can be found. With the notion of rebirth in mind, the piece culminates in a turbulent rhythmic unity, the energy of which quickly melts into a prolonged and quiet sustain. This I felt symbolized a sign of togetherness and acceptance while also ushering in a new beginning.
Writing “Home” opened my eyes to the importance of community. I learned that coming together and working toward a collective goal is necessary in order to overcome odds. As I reflect upon the community that has supported me through the writing process, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the Kinetic Ensemble, my family and friends, and especially to Mary Grace Johnson. It has been an honor to be included in a project that carried such personal significance for her. This experience truly would not have been possible without her tremendous support, inspiration and kindness.
– Nicky Sohn