In the last while, a lot has happened. In February, I received word that I've been accepted to a master's program (more on that soon), and I also self-published a booklet of 24 hymns, which I composed in collaboration with an organist and lyricist from Australia named Christian Catsanos. Now that COVID-19 has shut down much of the world, including my university, things are suddenly very different, but that has not stopped me from composing.
I've been working with Elizabeth van't Voort (viola) and Hannah Salamon (piano), two talented fellow students from Western University, on to complete my first full-fledged instrumental sonata. Elizabeth and Hannah were the performers of my Triptych for Viola and Piano, which is on YouTube. This four movement piece is still in the works, but is a little over half done. It is my hope to have it premiered by Elizabeth and Hannah in the fall, or in the late summer if this have improved. I've also nearly finished work on a piece for solo piano, which is my wedding gift to Hannah and her husband. The piece begins in Db major, with a quotation of the hymn tune, "Lobe Den Herren," which was sung at their wedding. It is an attractive piece, I'd say quite beautiful, and it is Hannah's hope to premiere in a recital in the fall semester. As I approach my master's, which will hoping be able to start in September, I'm beginning to sketch ideas for the Viola Concerto I hope to write as my thesis project.
Yes, I do love the viola, and it is my hope that I may write much for this sadly neglected instrument. It is my own belief and philosophy that the viola has the greatest capacity for conveying emotion. For the viola, with its inherent imperfections, is the most human of all instruments, for it will never have the perfect proportions of the violin or cello, and in this imperfection, it most closely reflects the human condition and our own imperfection. Take from this what you will, but the viola ought to be held in higher esteem, and this is my goal in writing for this instrument.