Gregory Miles Hoffman


selected compositions

There is something complex and mysterious about water and the secrets it holds beneath its surface. From tempestuous seas to lakes of placid serenity, water displays many moods, but conceals its true nature. It represents both life and fertility, but is also strongly associated with death. In literature, death by drowning is often reserved for characters who experience a heart-shattering twist of fate, or who are overwhelmed by their circumstance. But drowning, like water, can serve as an associative symbol, and this composition can be interpreted to be as much about metaphorical drowning as actual drowning. By metaphorical drowning I mean to succumb to an emotional deluge; to undergo an overwhelming or excessively intense experience; to feel life too vividly and suffer as a result; to love and to lose. This work is meant to convey both the struggle against and surrender to the water. The point of view shifts between first person (an ultimately doomed fight to stay above water), and third person (a dirge or lamentation for the drowned).

Hymn for the Drowned

    for clarinet and electronic sounds [2005]