In My Own Hands (2016/17)
There are two versions of this piece – the first (2016) is a set of variations for right hand alone, followed by a coda, and the other (2017) is a slightly expanded set of variations for alternating left and right hands, followed by the same coda.
Like many of my other works, In My Own Hands is suffused with an air of wistfulness, but I think to date it is the most intensely responsive to my own life. The first version of this piece was written for my undergraduate senior recital – coming at the end of my four years at school, it has a something of valedictory meaning to me. There were things I wanted to say to people that I could no longer reach (and so I sought to express a vulnerability of writing a letter, by having the pianist play with only the right hand until the music becomes so expansive as to require both), and I was about to embark on a whole host of uncertainties after graduation – as many graduates do.
I revised the piece sometime around the new year, extending the arc of the form and filling in where I thought there was any unnecessarily empty space. It's quite more dramatic, but otherwise stays faithful to the affect of the original.