I composed Summer Springs as a reflection of the time that I spent in Austin, Texas over the summer of 2018, and the things that make it my home. On the toughest, hottest days of that summer, I would swim at Barton Springs, a natural landmark of the city, and one of the few places in Austin that has remained relatively unchanged since my growing up there. The springs tie in naturally to my idea of double seconds, which have a cool, metallic sound reminiscent of running water, and composing a work for double seconds ties in naturally to my idea of home: some of my strongest connections to Austin are through the steelpan community (McCallum High School, Inside Out Steelband, and The Pans of Texas), where I first experienced and fell in love with the instrument.
Throughout Summer Springs, as the double seconds are in constant dialogue with the orchestra, my ultimate aim is to present a rationale for steelpans (and other instruments outside of the “classical” canon) to find their place within the orchestra, developing and modernizing one of the great musical forces in our history.
I premiered a reduction of Summer Springs on September 27, 2018, with Dominic Loutsch on piano. The full premiere was on March 14, 2019, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, with Kao Zhou conducting.