Intrusive Thoughts (2023)

For 12 instruments or chamber orchestra
I. Intrusive Thoughts: ca. 6'
II. Delayed Memories: ca. 9
Original version for dectet commissioned by the Albany Symphony (NY) as part of the Orchestrating in the 21st Century Workshop.
Expanded version for chamber orchestra version commissioned by the ARTZenter Institute for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players.

Intrusive Thoughts - An intrusive thought is an unwelcome, involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate. 

This psychological phenomenon is something I used to deal with on a regular basis when I lived back home with my family. These thoughts often took the form of very disturbing and violent images of self-harm which I would fixate on for several minutes at a time. It is under these circumstances in which I composed the first movement of the piece. 

What I find most interesting about this is that when I finally moved away, I stopped getting these thoughts all together- so much so that I forgot I ever had them, and so whenever I would present the piece to people, I never mentioned how the piece relates to me personally, not because of any shame I had felt surrounding the topic but simply because I had completely forgotten why I wrote it. It was only months after I had moved that I finally remembered my reasoning behind composing the piece. This idea of remembering and consolidating with past traumas is explored in the second movement of the piece.