Verschwinden. 2007. 9′
For Viola and 5.1 surround sound
Dedicated to Mary Ruth Ray
Premiere: February 10th, 2008.

Verschwinden, or Disappearing, is a work wrought out of grappling with my family’s post World War II history. My mother was a refugee after the war, in Germany. For a decade she lived in displaced persons camps on the edge of Germany during a time of reconstruction and immense poverty and displacement. In times like these, historic and modern, refugees linger on the edge of culture, sadly disappeared from view. Hannah Arendt calls the refugee the real avante garde, for their sense of being ahead of culture, in a way, and certainly being able to exist outside of it. The violence of Verschwinden is tempered by the ethereal, groundless, moments; extremes of a life on the edge.