Memories of… was commissioned by Chandler White in memory of his mother Kelly White. Filled with beautiful nostalgia, this lyrical vibraphone solo is perfect breath of fresh air on any performance.
Memories of… has a sad, but touching story to it. I was running a giveaway campaign during PASIC 2019, and I was lucky to have Chandler White respond! I had some physical sheet music with me, so the requirement was to come meet me in person to get the music. Right away we talked about some of my works that he liked already, had a great conversation and we were off! The excitement of meeting each other was there, and he walked away with my work for marimba and voice called “Freezing Snow,” among some others that were available for the giveaway.
As we were communicating afterwards, Chandler asked me to write a work dedicated to his mother, Kelly White, who was sick. Really sick, with cancer. I remember she wasn’t expected to live past 3 months. I responded with excitement, even though I was honestly terrified of this daunting task. I also felt a pressure to get this done so that Kelly could hear it. I asked Chandler, “Can I tell you something?”
Scene change: I had lost my father in 2018. To cancer. This is what I told Chandler. This means that the subject surrounding this music resonated so deeply with me that I wasn’t sure how to approach it. Do I use my feelings for my father in this work? Does that mean it is dedicated to him? Do I funnel that personal experience to help relate with what Chandler is going through at this time? It turns out the answer is more communal.
Back to Chandler: Our meeting at PASIC was November 15th and unfortunately it was only the morning of Nov. 22nd when I read about Chandler’s mother passing away. My stomach sank. She would never get to hear the work. Now, everything has changed. Now, she is the work. I need to open my mind to let something develop through music that can not only be a tribute to Kelly, but can help Chandler connect with his mom. In fact, when I told Chandler about my dad and we had a few video chats playing the piece, editing, and talking about it, this inevitably infused my experience with my father into this work. This helped me connect with my father through this music. I think anybody can connect with their passed loved ones through Memories of…
There are life lessons that can be learned from Memories of… avoid waiting. Anything can happen at any moment. Even if the number is three years (dad) or three months (Kelly) we need to appreciate our time with our loved ones down to the second. This didn’t mean I had three months to write the music, I didn’t have three years to hang with Dad, Chandler didn’t have three more months with his mom and nobody knows how long we have because chance causes really awesome things to happen in life, but it also shows us how precious life really is. Therefore, this work is a way for anybody to connect with their passed loved ones through music. Please enjoy Memories of…