- I - Deceptions 10:57
- II - Remembrances 5:48
- III - Illusions 5:22
- IV - Inevitabilities 5:30
intrusion on a person’s territory or a thing considered to be a right.
a phrase or form of words written in memory of a person, place, or belief who (that) has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone.
A preeminent Chicago string quartet approached me to write a piece for a series of chamber concerts planned to take place in mid-October 2020. My Opus 11, String Quartet Nº 1, is the result of that commission.
In mid-to-late 2020, we were just getting to the point where COVID-19 was somewhat receding (prior to the Delta Variant’s onslaught). Life was slowly beginning to return to a new normal. Many U.S. states were experiencing a second wave (Delta) in the number of cases. On top of that angst, there were protests and unrest across America that began with the killing of black men in Minneapolis and Atlanta by those employed to protect us. These “protests” escalated to violence and destruction of property, buildings, and small businesses in several states. I began to get a sense that these socio-economic-medical events were encroaching on our sense of safety and comfort that we have in our lives as Americans.
These epitaphs are not yet the final reality: yet they are, encroaching on becoming just that.
Movement #1 – Deceptions – An epitaph to the loss of all political civility among us as American citizens and the recognition that we are probably living a self-deception if we believe even a modicum of political tolerance on both sides will ever return.
Movement #2 – Remembrances – An epitaph to the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the insidious pandemic, which history will record as COVID-19. The human losses were parents, grandparents, children, siblings, neighbors, friends, and even spouses.
Movement #3 – Illusions – An epitaph to our pre-COVID-19 lives of embraces, hugs, handshakes, intimate gatherings, large-scale arts performances, worshiping with full congregations, and to the times when we were safe to engage in tender ways as loving humans.
Movement #4 – Inevitabilities – An epitaph for some — if not many — of our American freedoms, liberties, and our perpetual hope for a better life. These values appear likely to be unstoppably eroding over the remainder of my lifetime for us as citizens accustomed to a more hospitable America.
I visualized that all of these “death sentences” are crawling over each other to reach the top headline in our dour new world. To me, these themes now appear to be morbidly competing encroaching epitaphs.