H I R A E T H
Hiraeth: [Heer-eyeth] n.
Homesickness for a place you can no longer return to, or that never was; a feeling of nostalgia or yearning for something that no longer exists.
Hiraeth, for flute trio, was written to explore nostalgia and community. The title is a word in Welsh culture that resonated with me as I reflected upon the ongoing healing and communal trauma that the LGBTQIA+ community continues to navigate. Places we once found joy and celebration are quickly becoming crime scenes, memorial sites, and protest lines. The piece explores this nostalgia through broken voices, fluttering gestures, and dissonant sonorities. Throughout the piece, the flutists are asked to see one another and explore the presented ideas together as a community.
The piece also serves as an offering to the LGBTQIA+ community for all the hurt and perseverance we experience fighting for basic human respect and the nostalgia of losing safety in our queer spaces. On November 20th, 2022, an individual took Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub located in Colorado Springs, CO, hostage and killed five individuals - injuring 25 others. The bravery of two patrons, Richard Fierro and Thomas James, helped stop the shooter. This is but one of the many shootings that have taken place in American LGBTQIA+ nightclubs, a space that was incredibly valuable to me and a safe space that can no longer return to be. Compositional parameters utilize 2 and 5 throughout the piece to honor those that fought for and lost their lives that night.
This piece is for us; for the community that has embraced us, and for the allies that continue to stand at our sides.
Written for the 2023 National Flute Association Convention.
Performance by: Rose Bishop, Heather Neuenschwander, and Zachery Meier