Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine

Introducing my latest original composition, Anima Mechanicae: Soul of the Machine for String Quartet!

This work began as this past semester’s composition project during my studies at Claremont Graduate University, and I recall being absolutely determined to put my obsession with Glass-ian style minimalism to good use and utilize minimalistic gestures in this work. 🙂

As I progressed in putting my various ideas together, I became increasingly frustrated with (to my mind) a lack of flow or connection between each section. Then my lovely James noted that I tend to be a “program” writer, rather than an “absolute music” writer, and that, consequently, I should focus on relating the piece to a meaningful character from a trilogy of sci-fi novels I’ve been slowly putting together for over a decade now (more on that later, I promise….). Hearing this suggestion, I took heart, and I chose a character from books two and three named SARA, an advanced computer program who has been given a chance to experience emotions like the humans do. With this in mind, like magic, all the sections of this composition clicked!

So, here we have moments of mechanical coldness, gradually giving way to moments of tender and emotional beauty. The sections represented include: Mechanically, Quixotically, Pensively, With impish behavior, Tenderly, and Surreal.

Many, many multiplied thanks to Dr. Boyer, Dr. Zeliff, CGU, and all the musicians for encouraging me and allowing me to have this wonderful experience! Also, thanks to my many friends who were brave enough to try this piece before the “pros” tackled it, and who truly seemed to enjoy playing it with me!

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  1. I loved hearing every moment of it, even without reading your blog. Now I’m eager to go back and listen again to see if I can connect to the sections with their titles.


    I’m eager to try it in our chamber music sessions this summer.

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