A Far Playgroundviola, piano (2009)
A Far Playground is a landscape painted in music, outlining the emotional contours of that imaginary and mythical playground that exists always, on the other side of our waking state. When my oldest son was three years old, I would often ask him when he woke up in the morning if he remembered his dreams from the night before. Most of the time he said he didn’t, or that he did but didn't want to tell me about it, particularly if it was a bad dream. There was one exception, a bad dream that he seemed to have more than once. He was playing at a “far playground” and discovered he was all alone, unable to find his parents or his way home. There was only one other figure in the dream -- a fox, standing at a distance, staring back at him. This mixture of aloneness and slight disorientation in the setting of a playground struck me -- this was not a hair-raising fear, but rather an unsettling one; things were familiar, but something was very out of place. Protectively, I wish I could banish these kinds of dreams and feelings from my son's consciousness; knowing I can't, I've written this piece.