Nina C. Young

Composer and Sound Artist

Title: Traced Upon Cinders
Ensemble: Either/Or, Richard Carrick - conductor
Instrumentation: 13 musicians: flute (+picc. + prayer bowl), clarinet (+bs cl.), horn (+prayer bowl), trumpet (+ prayer bowl), bass trombone (+prayer bowl), percussion, piano, electric guitar (8-string), 2 violins, viola, cello, bass
Duration: 10:45
Year Composed: 2014

Program Note:

Traced Upon Cinders is a partner piece to my percussion sextet Etched in Sand. The notes to Etched in Sand read:

"To etch is to cut, carve, or engrave a text of 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 into the wet, hardened sand 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 etching, and as it neared I waited, in tense anticipation, for the arcs of water blinding 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 away into the original blank canvas."

As an adult, I often look back to the memories of moments from my childhood. I trace these images over and over again in my mind, seeking new meanings and connections. But as time passes their fidelity erodes; they are now cinders of the burning moments they once were, and quickly they do fade.

Traced Upon Cinders was written for the Either/Or ensemble.

Nina C. Young - composer