Nina C. Young

Composer and Sound Artist

Title: Etched in Sand
Instrumentation: percussion sextet (mallet percussion)
Duration: 09:00
Year Composed: 2013

Program Note:

To etch is to cut, carve, or engrave a text or design onto a surface (traditionally metal, glass, or stone). This process leaves a permanent design on the original surface.

I recall going to the shore as a child and spending hours etching designs in the wet, hardened sad at the threshold of beach and sea. With the sun on my back I would revel in the glory of these beautiful and ephemeral pieces of art that I created using the sand as my canvas and a stray seashell as my stylus. As evening encroached, the tide would slowly come in, its regular cycles of crashing waves a whispering reminder of the passing of time. The gently lapping water would inevitably creep towards my etchings, and as it neared I waited, in tense anticipation, for the arcs of water blindly reaching up the beach. As the first finger of water washed over my design, the image began its transformation into a subdued echo of itself. For a short time - an eternity - I would solemnly watch my day's work gently fade into the original blank canvas.

Etched in Sand was written for Sixtrum percussion sextet as part of their young composer workshop centered around the instrumentation of Philippe Leroux's work De l'itération. Etched in Sand was premiered on December 7, 2013 at Salle Bourgie in Montreal, QC.

Nina C. Young - composer