The Strongest Among Us (2020)
The Strongest Among Us is a work for cello and five rotating players, two guitars, piano/electric piano and piano four-hands. The title of the work reflects the societal violence that is enacted upon people of marginalized identities who must become “strong” in the face of violence. I'm annoyed by the superficiality of these comments because it ignores the fact that it is more difficult to exist while marginalized, thus one must be strong. Anything but "strong", "resilient", "independant", and "docile" is not an option, forcing people to take on the role of “powerful” yet lacking in social and financial power throughout society. It is the rotating players (those with cultural power) that create the conditions in which the cellist must be the strongest among them.
In this work the cellist acts as a soloist and is the strongest among the group. They lead the ensemble and the piece. Furthermore, it is the cellist who is never offered the chance to rotate or take or any other role than the one given. They can improvise, but never outside the confines of their instrument/role. The piece concludes with rotating players taking a bow, ignoring the cellist who is still playing.