The Holly and the Ivy is one of my mom's favorite carols, and this arrangement started out simply with a memory of singing it together at the piano in my childhood home. As the news of 2020 continued to unfold during my work on this piece, I started thinking about how the familiar ground of living in America had shifted to feel unstable and out of context. In like manner, these familiar verses are now shaped by harmonic contexts that sometimes shifts the tune into another experience with small changes that reveal how precarious and precious the balance is. And yet, while the tune engages with and is altered by the new harmonic contexts, it eventually persists and moves forward in a broader tempo.
The Holly and the Ivy
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