Divergence juxtaposes a simple, beautiful innocence with a dark, aggressive complexity. These two characters fight each other throughout the work, each slipping their way into the other’s musical style. I’ve come to know this musical treatment of two contrasting characters as a developing fingerprint in my music, and Divergence is really the first piece where this fingerprint began to emerge.
Divergence was written during a big period of change in my life. I was studying in Amsterdam and travelling throughout Europe. It was my first time outside the United States, and it was a fascinating, terrifying, beautiful experience to leave American culture and embrace and explore other ways of thinking and living.
This experience is mirrored in the music; some moments are in awe of this experience, others are terrified, and still others are reticent to change. The end recalls the beauty of the beginning, but it is framed through the music which came before, giving this music the sense of acceptance and growth. It was my goal to musically capture this feeling of growth gained through living and travelling outside of the US.
Divergence was the recipient of a generous 2014 Mellon Grant from Lawrence University for the world premiere in Amsterdam, Netherlands.