Premiere (in concert):
Portland, OR, USA
November 21st, 2020
Year of Composition:
Alleluia was written for Persisting Sound's 2020 Virtual Concert: Vulnerability.
Here are Carolyn's words from November of 2020, featured in Vulnerability, about the piece:
"Though Alleluia is normally a religious word, and used in those contexts, here it's meant to be just a neutral word. Each time that that word is sung, it takes on a new meaning: and this piece really focuses in on grief - which I think a lot of us have been feeling the last 6 months, 8 months, you name it - just collectively. Alleluia is meant to...explore that space: to see the bright sides of it, to...wallow in the depths of it and just to...live with it. [The] very last chord [is] a rolled chord in an upper register of the piano; and I thought that that was really important to add just to make it a bit more hopeful."
Alleluia deals with grief. Struggling with it, attempting to find little sparks of joy in spite of it, and exploring all of the spaces in between. Because of my religious background, the word "alleluia" has always been a familiar exaltation, but in the depths of emotional despair, the notion to “praise the Lord” feels like a distant and empty thing. However, there is strength in exploring words of praise in the dark. I feel that at its core, the word “alleluia” is a representation of hope: a grounding, centering statement that reminds oneself that, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” that though I trudge through the muck and the mire of this world, I will continue to praise life and look forward; that I will shout “alleluia,” desperately hoping that my cries circle back to me and lift me up out of disdain.