Starstuff, 2013 (15′)
Starstuff was commissioned by the Alabama Symphony as the culmination of my time as composer-in-residence of the orchestra. I had been watching a lot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, in which he famously remarked, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” The word became synonymous with the man, mirroring the incredible mix of the lofty (star) and the everyday (stuff) that he brought to his program and his writing. This piece is an effort to capture a piece of that balance, the majesty of our origins and the humility that it demands of us.