The news had just hit about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut when Roosevelt University composer Kyong Mee Choi sat down to write a new piece of music for the New Music Ensemble at Western Michigan University.
Choi, an associate professor of music composition in Roosevelt’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, recalls being unable to create much of anything as she tried to comprehend the killings and loss being experienced by families who lost children.
“I remember seeing some of the parents on the news. Some were so forgiving and others were so angry, and it got me thinking that I’d like to reach out to them through my music,” said Choi, whose nine-minute piece, Tender Spirit, premiered on March 22 at the New Music Festival at Western Michigan University.
Written for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion and featuring electronics, the piece is about human madness and how those impacted by it transcend to a peaceful state, according to Choi.