Last fall I got to create another piece for the Cincinnati Ballet with choreographer Heather Britt. I was brought on to the project a bit later than in past years, and subsequently had less time to work on the piece. But strangely enough this proved to be an advantage, as I didn’t have enough time to get stressed or second guess myself about little details. I kind of just plowed through it, and only looked back to change things in a few places.

You can watch the final product here. I think it’s the strongest of our three big collaborations. The visual language Heather created on such a short timeframe is staggering – I’ve watched it close to a dozen times, and each new viewing brings to light a deeper level that I missed previously.

I tried to challenge myself to not fall back into the comfort zones I’m used to – namely, lots of time taken up by vocal verses and choruses. For example, the long rhythmic section in the middle is something I would have never written on my own, both because percussion is not my specialty, and having long sections of music without much melodic movement makes me nervous. Looking back and hearing everything in context, I realize I could have extended it even more. But I’m still learning.