For Bass-Baritone + Piano (25′)
Truth (2019) is a song cycle that sets texts from central figures in the modern discussion of the definition of truth. This cycle is a means of juxtaposing the illegitimate stance on truth that most modern politicians have used as a tool of deception with the strongly thought-out definitions worked out by groups of philosophers since the year 1900. The music is composed to convey the odyssey of this century-long discussion, giving a set of coherent and well-conceived sonorities in the first six movements, while using a controlled chromatic chaos in the seventh movement to depict the disturbing, dark and deliberate deceptions carried out by politicians in the Trump era.
This work was conceived last November while reading an email inviting students to apply for the 2019-20 Humanities Studio. The email had two quotes, one from Pontius Pilate and one from Rudy Giuliani. I found that the two quotes were unintentionally poetic, and would lend themselves well to musical settings. I immediately began making sketches and writing the finale, (Post)Truth, with the idea in mind that it would get performed sometime in the near future, and that I might be able to work it into my thesis project. With a summer research grant on behalf of the Pomona College Humanities Studio, I spent a number of long days researching texts and writing the music
Truth was composed for Bass Baritone Matthew Cook, a friend and colleague who eagerly supported my efforts in the composition of my first major vocal work.
The final movement, (Post)Truth was workshopped and premiered as a standalone work at the Atlantic Music Festival by Bass Raphael Fernandez and Pianist Sheena Hui.
This work is dedicated to Professor Peter Thielke, whose lecture on What Makes a Good Example? sparked my interest in the field of philosophy. If I had not accidentally walked in on what I thought was a completely different event, this song cycle would never have existed.
Audio + Video of premiere performance in Lyman Hall at Pomona College