Program Notes

I composed Suspended Dreams in the summer of 2020 during the quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus seemed to bring the whole world to a standstill and the world is still moving at a much slower pace than usual even after months of preventative measures. During the months in which I composed Suspended Dreams, the vast majority of people were still trying to adjust to what several news stations called the “new normal.” However, many people’s new normal hardly felt normal at all, but more like an unpredictable pause, as if they were only marking time or treading water. Life felt like it was going nowhere—no forward motion, despite the passage of time—with no definitive end in sight.


The title of this piece, Suspended Dreams, comes from this state of limbo that many people seemed to be in during this time, their dreams and lives on hold for the foreseeable future. The piece is centered on a repeated permutation that moves back and forth between A major and F Sharp minor. It opens with a restless, melancholic chorale before melting into a series of floating, arpeggiated sixteenth note phrases. At times, these phrases bleed into each other, resembling the passage of time for many during the long periods of self-isolation. The piece ends without resolution, on a dominant 7 chord that never makes its way back to the major tonic, a fitting end for a work titled Suspended Dreams.