for solo violin
When violinist Airi Yoshioka asked me to compose a new solo violin work for her, I began to study the Paganini Caprices, monumental violin works that explore many nuances of expressive possibilities on the instrument. At the same time, my heart was breaking at the news of the worldwide immigrant crisis, especially for Syrian refugees, and especially for the children. Listening to an Arabic lullaby, I discovered it used a similar mode to the 6th Paganini Caprice. Combining the two as a metaphor for peaceful and fruitful uniting of cultures became the gestalt of the work.
As I worked to finish the piece in the spring and summer of 2018, the United States government was separating children from their families at the southern US border. I decided to fold in another lullaby, this time from the Andes. The focus of Dream Prayer Lullaby ultimately became three-fold: a dream of a peaceful integration of peoples as they are forced from one land to another, a prayer that this dream might be realized, and a lullaby to comfort the children who suffer and wait.
I want to thank the peoples of Arabia, the Andes, and Nigeria whose lullabies are quoted in this piece, and whose music inspired my work.
Violinist Airi Yoshioka premiered this piece in 2018 in Piacenza, Italy, and a recording of her subsequent performance is available on opening the score.