for saxophone quartet
commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
commissioned by Musiqa new music collective
Stonewall 50 // May 9, 2019 - 6.30p // Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
Dan Gelock, Masahito Sugihara (al.), Johnny Salinas (tn.), Evan Withner (bn.)
What was spurred 50 years ago at the Stonewall Inn was a fight for home, community, and freedom. We may feel distance from it, given our proximity to the cause or the time when it occurred. There are moments that happen in life that make a significant impact on a person, community, a culture, or the world. Regardless our opinion on such happenings, they deeply influence our life and perspective. Perhaps to feel the impact of life around us, we must feel its absence.
Consider when you last spent time alone, truly by yourself. What sound did it have? What memories? Where did your mind wander? How much time passed?
When I use the word “midfield,” I am referring to a place between action and inaction. A space aware of the present without reaction to it. A moment to take pause and find a path forward. A vulnerable place to consciously evaluate the whole. I believe this is the place we are most ourselves; a space between our present and transcendental self.
This work is not about me or my relation to the Stonewall riots - I did not experience them and I did not participate in them. It is rather about isolation and solitary states of life. I imagine a life without personal affirmation and restrained expression. A life without “home.” A life without Stonewall.