Time's Dialogue (2023)
Commissioned by DACAMERA
Premiered September 29, 2023
Wortham Theater Center, Houston TX
performed by Isidore Quartet and Sarah Rothenberg
“Time's Dialogue” delves into the theme of time and its influence on our perceptions of the future. Inspired by personal experiences and reflections on the complexities of life, the work is an exploration of contrasting perspectives, the interplay between optimism and pessimism, and the ever-present difficulty in navigating the passage of time.
The composition takes its initial inspiration from the introspective jazz standard, "Bye Bye Blackbird," a timeless melody that resonates with themes of loneliness and introspection. Drawing upon the dynamic energy of Miles Davis and John Coltrane's rendition, the piece pays homage to this classic tune while venturing into new territories of musical expression.
Through its episodic structure, the composition captures emotions of isolation, loss, and the struggle to accept progress and healing as a positive force. Conflicting feelings surface as the desire to be loved intertwines with the reality of separation. After the all the many remnants of conflict have settled to the bottom and the heartaches of the past begin to look beautiful, it is almost as if time had secretly visited and swept up the messy details—as if time is a diligent housekeeper. In the quiet aftermath, one has to learn to handle the state of being alone again, but this time with a head full of charming memories of something that can be no longer.
“Time’s Dialogue” contemplates the idea that memories can never be true; whether it is erasing the misshapen parts of truth, or distorting them until they appear to be something new entirely, everything that is graced by time is illusory. The piece attempts to empathize with the universal experience of navigating our own minds at a time of loss. At times like these, all we wish for is to live it through again. But the things we remember do not equal the things that we have lived through.
– Nicky Sohn