heirlooms is a piece for singing cellist, fixed media, and music box to be performed live with film.
When I told cellist and longtime friend Matt Magerkurth that the film was about a girl who plants her childhood heirlooms to watch them grow into flowers, he said, “That is the most Ashlin thing I’ve ever heard.” I wrote this piece for Matt, a person who has been a vibrant presence in my life since we met when we were 15- and 16-years old at a summer composition workshop in Kansas City. As I wrote the piece, I would pretend I was in a small room with Matt and his cello. The energy of the piece began as imaginings of sitting in that room, and the music as it exists now shares the intimacy and visual physicality of that experience.
Saxophonist and multimedia artist Nick Zoulek and I crafted the narrative of the film to retain the themes of familiarity and childhood while vividly expressing other ideas that are central to my identity as a composer: memory and blossoming. Many of the heirlooms seen in the film are personally meaningful to me: the metal fish is my mother’s, and the key is from my childhood key collection. heirlooms presents a captivating narrative of innocence, remembrance, and growth through a girl and her music box.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in performing or programming this piece.
heirlooms was premiered on I Care If You Listen.com on August 8, 2018. You can view the article here.
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