Counterbalance (2020)


Counterbalance was written around the time that the COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate was first issued in San Francisco. As many others similarly experienced, my thoughts were very suddenly overtaken by negativity and anxiety, further worsened by the endless bad news and (self-inflicted) Twitter doom-scrolling. Composing became another onerous task, and I found the best way to motivate myself to compose was to seek solace in musical material that I felt had nothing to do—at least, on the surface—with the current situation. And so each of the four short movements of Counterbalance is inspired by a mood that I myself wanted to ponder and musically explore: Ebullience, Reverie, Quietude, and Comfort. Each movement is meant to be played without too much stress or seriousness, and I hope they will provide some peace and comfort to the performer (and listener) as well.

Counterbalance was written for Natalie Raney in collaboration with Helia Music Collective.


Solo cello


ca. 9 minutes


September 4, 2020*

Catalyst – Natalie Raney & Helia Music Collective at Center for New Music, San Francisco, CA

Natalie Raney, cello

*Indicates a world premiere