About 60,000 people, including some 24,000 children, sleep in New York’s municipal homeless shelters each night, and thousands more sleep unsheltered on the streets. This diverse population includes people from nearly all walks of life, although the primary cause of homelessness for the majority is the severe shortage of affordable housing.
This piece was inspired by two sisters dealing with the loss of a loved one. Each instrument represents one of the sisters, who initially have very different attitudes and cannot communicate with each other. As the piece progresses the two lines interact, working through various stages of grief together.
The text for Ode to a Nightingale is taken from a poem of the same name by John Keats. Writing in the spring of 1819, the twenty-three-year-old Keats had watched his brother die of tuberculosis only a few months earlier and was now ill himself. The poem expresses a love of nature but also a revulsion to the natural world and a desire to escape from it.