My State With Kings text is Shakespeare’s Sonnet no. 29, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,” and draws inspiration from the tradition of actors giving monologues of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Stage directions are not given and the performer is free to interpret the musical material and lyrical content in order to develop their own character. To this end, physical movement is encouraged. It was premiered at the University of Alabama's "Composer's Presents" concert series in 2019.
And here, we keep the most bright things. is inspired by memories and conversations with my family as well as the physical space of my hometown. The text is my own composition; it is printed below:
And here, we keep the most bright things.
Please speak to me of joy,
you told a story above the roaring wind,
miles upon miles.
Please speak to me of roots,
do you run as deep as I for you?
Please speak to me of your children,
the home that you made.
Please speak to me of your favorite song,
do you know all the words by heart?
We can run away for a while.
Please speak to me of hiding away,
will bright lights save us?
I don't want to numb myself.
Please speak to me of your addiction,
your fantasy life.
Please speak to me of your home,
did you ever find a new one?
I fear I will never know another.
The things I wish you did to me is a song written in collaboration with poet, Sammi Bryan, and for the screendance, Dream State. The film premiered at the Dance Alabama Film Festival, and received a second screening at the American College Dance Association Screendance Gala festival.