The Other Path (2004, rev. 2013)

for mixed chamber ensemble

The Other Path was written for the Hundredth Monkey Ensemble in Eugene, Oregon. I started writing the piece in early 2004 after my girlfriend of several years and I were giving our relationship a second try after a very messy and emotional breakup a couple of months prior. At the time, I remember having a clear picture in my head of standing at a fork in the road looking at two paths – our current relationship trajectory path that, while rocky, would have eventually led to marriage and family and the happiness that comes with that, and an alternate path in which our future together even as friends was completely unknown.

The emotional whirlwind I was going through during all of this did not deter my approach of this other path with optimism – the idea that if our relationship didn’t lead to a lifelong partnership in matrimony, the alternative would still lead to something wonderful at some point in our lives. The Other Path is my musical expression of this outlook, a melancholy yet optimistic perspective on potential heartbreak. It’s meant to capture the stillness of standing at the fork in the road, and the acknowledgement that the alternate path, despite representing loss and sadness for a life path that would have been beautiful but can never be can still be something that can become beautiful in its own way.

Almost a decade later, the piece now also represents a peaceful reflection on said path and the humble gratitude of what the two of us now hold – one of the strongest and most heartfelt lifelong friendships that I will ever have.

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