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pressing instincts recently won the College Music Society Southeast Chapter Composition Competition, the Arnold Salop Memorial Composition Contest sponsored by the Southeastern Composers' League, and the Society of Composers/ASCAP Composition Competition Region IV. It was also submitted as part of a protfolio that received an award from the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers.
Pressing Instincts has a two-fold purpose. First, it portrays the unfortunate side-effects requisite in evolutionary theory–men are reduced to mere animals guided only by self-serving instincts. In addition, it demonstrates our insanity in taking traits common to every human being and magnifying them to the point that they rule our world. Our play has become our work. Our growth has become our competition. Our work has become our life. There is no time for what is truly important: love, family, friends, God. In Play, the acrobatic theme combined with a whirlwind of time signatures demonstrates the pleasurable chaos that is childhood. Grow presents the indomitable human impulse to build upon whatever already exists. Textural crescendi, diminishing rhythms, and thematic stretto symbolize human expansion on both genetic and macroscopic levels. Busy juxtaposes an agitated obligato with melodic rolls to perpetually shove the listener through a typical day of living. Along the way, variations on playful tunes grow into memories of more amicable instincts and eventually a briefly indulgent respite. However, even rest requires purpose, and that purpose ultimately leads to further business. My hope is that we would no longer be controlled by our "instincts" but control them in such a way as to help each other. Perhaps I am too much of an idealist. Perhaps not.