made of words ... torn by dreams
after Wallace Stevens
for alto saxophone and piano (2015)
Duration: 6.5 minutes
made of words … torn by dreams was inspired by lines from the poem “Men Made Out of Words” by poet Wallace Stevens. These lines, along with the suicide of a pianist-friend who was struggling with his queer identity, sparked me to consider the words we use to define ourselves and use to label others. How do we fulfill the roles these words demand? Do we disappoint? This pushed me to consider who I am and who I thought I would be–my identities, plans, and dreams. As an artist, as a human being, am I living up to the words I am made up of? Are words and roles forced on me, and if so, do I succumb to them or overcome them? As my life progresses, as I learn more about myself and the intersection of my identities, as my dreams come to fruition or fail to materialize, what does that do to my definition of self? The music for this piece moves between sections of quiet thoughtfulness and sections of forward propulsion, contrasting dark and bright modes, all in response to the these questions and the changing answers I struggle to grasp.
Sarah Hetrick, alto saxophone and Andrew Q. Langman, piano
Recital Studio, Butler School of Music, The University of Texas at Austin
April 4, 2017