I wrote hush during a time when I wanted nothing more than a hug. The uncannily saccharine sounds of the piece are meant to surround and envelop the listener as similar to how an infant might be swaddled when held in their mother’s arms. The piece is scored for two microtonal pianos using alternate tuning systems reminiscent of a music box. Over time, the tuning is further warped, creating a haunting and unearthly emotional effect.
Though lullabies are generally used to soothe a child to sleep, they are often even more meaningful for the mother who sings them, and the lyrical content of many historical lullabies is dark and lamentful. hush tries to capture this duality, portraying the sweet, yet eerie nostalgia of childhood.
Many thanks to Nancy Allen, June Han, and The Juilliard School for commissioning this new version for solo harp for Juilliard Pre-College.