Among the seemingly endless construction projects happening at and around the New England Conservatory is the work being done at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, right outside Symphony Hall. Among the new designs in the pavement is a cello, which caught my eye one day over the winter before it was temporarily obscured by the snow.
What struck me about this cello in the pavement was not just the fact that I happened to be working on this composition including cello; no doubt many people passing through this particular intersection had some connection to the same instrument. I was also intrigued by the notion that once this construction is finished (assuming, of course, that someday it will be), newcomers to this intersection might never stop to consider what had been present before the overhaul. And those who return today to this intersection after several years of being away will be surprised to see the changes and the absence of what existed previously.
Likewise, across the street, an entrance to the Symphony T station has been closed and the descending steps filled in with pavement: what was present before is now gone. I was similarly reminded of the patterned crosswalks that were installed all along Huntington Avenue while I was attending high school, many of which have faded over the years. Even with projects involving seemingly robust materials, it seems the only things guaranteed to last are these memories of impermanence.
These are some of the sentiments that I have incorporated into this piano trio. The musical elements that are introduced in the piece’s opening are recalled throughout the rest of the piece, but these musical recollections vary from their original statements. Even formally, the structures of recurring sections are altered in their reprises. It is in this manner that our own memories—and the specific things we remember—are not as indissoluble as we might think.
Includes: 1 score and complete set of parts (violin, cello, piano)