Desire Lines

pedal harp and two saxophones (2023)

Duration: 15'

The term “desire lines” refers to the natural footpaths that emerge in parks or on campuses when many people take the same shortcut through the grass day after day. The emotional narrative of Desire Lines traces my personal journey from being someone who anxiously takes the most efficient route to someone who can relax and enjoy a slower pace. The first movement, “Shortcut,” switches chaotically between several different sound worlds, cutting impatiently back and forth across musical space. “Patterns” settles back, inviting the listener to observe a soothing, zoomed-out picture of the repetition and movement of traffic as if seen from above. The work’s emotional climax, “Scenic Route,” accepts that not everything needs to be done in the fastest way possible and then discovers unexpected joy in taking the long way around.

Commissioned by keystring, Desire Lines was made possible through generous funding from the American Harp Society Grants Program.