Written for those who were witness, victim, and hero of the
2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting.
On June 12, 2016, an attack was made on the LGBTQ+ community. As the second deadliest, single-gunman mass shooting in the United States, the attack killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This was the largest hate crime to the LGBTQ+ community of my generation and sent a paralyzing shock across the country. The piece was created through the contrasting ideas of instability and structure. In juxtaposing these ideas, I wanted to create an atmosphere that resembled and shed light to the experience of the “unknown” in a familiar place. As I have never encountered something as traumatizing as being physically trapped in a seemingly inescapable, unknown place that was once intimately familiar, I drew upon what feelings provoked me while reading and listening to the stories of this survivors. A hymn like melodic line penetrates this atmosphere, weaving its way over and through the highly active and textually instable material, resembling that of the shimmer of hope that will carry one through this traumatizing experience, praying for peace and tranquility. As the piece comes to a close, the closing gesture is meant to resemble the human breath, realized in the dynamic swells of the ensemble, leading to the last statement of the opening material. As no amount of words could ever fully give justice or peace to the families and friends of those victims, this is my prayer dedicated to those who survived, to the heroes who risked their lives, and to the tragic loss of loved ones who will be remembered.
Read by the JACK Quartet.