Children's Portrait Album (2019)

Solo piano

7 minutes

Premiere performance:

05 April 2019

Kevin Gunia, piano

Shindell Choral Hall, Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ

Preview Score

Scrolling Score Video

Video With Pictures

In the summer of 2018, I worked as a counselor at an arts camp. I was worried about my ability to do the job; it was the first time I had worked with kids. Sure enough, I was a complete pushover. I found myself unable to discipline the kids, which, as a result, led to me being the most popular counselor. More importantly, however, they realized that I could be their friend.

 

I was inspired to write portraits of five children, in four pieces. Miguel was a boy from Spain, his father a visiting professor at Rutgers. He grew very attached to me, always clutching at me and literally running circles around me. Although it was frustrating, he was very bright and I admired him greatly. As he was such a happy child, I titled his portrait, "With Joy."

 

Gregory was a very wise six year old, making conclusions about life that some people could only make during adulthood. I titled his portrait, "Beyond His Years."

 

Marko's portrait is the most complex; during art class, he would create extravagant origami stars. While that was impressive enough to me, he took things a step further. He would then flick paint at the stars, which reminded me strongly of the artwork of Jackson Pollock, except with more color. As a result, I titled his portrait, "More than a touch of Pollock."

 

Beatriz and Francisco were twins with lots of energy. I found myself amused at the end of week ceremony (musically represented by a march), where they would have sudden outbursts of running and laughter. I titled their portrait, "One after the other."