This Pick of the Week features selections from The Boccaccio Project, a series of musical responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that premiered in June 2020. Ten composers were commissioned to write brief solo works, with the remotely recorded pieces premiered online in June 2020. This Pick of the Week features two works that were composed and performed by Black artists. Have and Hold by Allison Loggins-Hull and performed by Nathalie Joachin. And, Sequestered Thoughts by Damien Sneed performed by
Composer Allison Loggins-Hull was paired with flutist Nathalie Joachim of Flutronix to write a new work for singing flutist and electronics, entitled "Have and Hold."
"Have and Hold" reflects the desire to be near others during an extended period of social distancing and isolation. Personally, I have realized that being around people and experiencing life with them not only brings me great joy, but fuels my energy, creativity and spirit. This piece is truly dedicated to all of the people in my life who I miss dearly and long to be near again.—Allison Loggins-Hull
Composer Damien Sneed was paired with pianist Jeremy Jordan to write a new solo piano work, entitled "Sequestered Thoughts." The piece was inspired by spending many days alone in solitude during the COVID-19 pandemic of Spring 2020. It begins with a virtuosic fluttering in the right hand, juxtaposed against a strong and determined left-hand motif. Together, these two motifs speak to the many meandering thoughts that come to one when they find themselves devoid of human interaction and fellowship. Then a motif comes out of the left hand representing the inquisitive longing for things to shift to a new normal. In contrast, the right-hand plays octaves mirroring the monotony of days running together and weeks running into months.