I wrote this piece rather quickly to make the deadline for the 2016 Boston Guitar Festival’s composition competition and although it did not win I enjoyed the piece enough to keep around. I dedicated it to my friend Samuel Hines, who graciously recorded the submission audio for me on extremely short notice and helped me with the editing process.
Submissions that reflected that year’s festival theme of Viva España! were to receive preferential treatment so I decided to quote one of Spain’s most prolific composers for the guitar, Joaquín Rodrigo. I often find that using another composer’s work as a starting point frees me from the anxiety of the blank page; I can allow myself to feel creativity though the treatment of the material as opposed to the generation itself. I borrow a small motif from Rodrigo’s Invocacion y Danza as the germ of the piece and although it pervades the entire work I believe that the overall sound is entirely my own.
The modular form of this piece is meant to reflect the cyclic nature of addiction. I juxtapose Rodrigo’s motif with a pedal-point figure that remains static throughout the piece; while Rodrigo’s motif passes through varied episodes, the inevitable returns to the pedal-point each time carries a sense of defeat.