Soma is the second in a series of works engaging a specific psychological referent: my grandmother, who has advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Instruments act out the disconnect her sickness causes between psychological intent and physical execution. Aberrations in placement, pressure, angle, force, and speed distort instrumental technique and interrupt the correlation between effort and audibility. With the syntax of movement scrambled, even the simplest of sounds turn fragile and chaotic. In Soma, instrumental bodies act as landscapes across which the limbs and fingers of performers must crawl.
Soma was commissioned by the Alice and Harry Eiler Foundation on receipt of the Staubach Honorarium. It was premiered by Curious Chamber Players at the 2012 Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music, where it received a Stipendienpreis.