Aidan Ramsay (b.1993) is an Oregonian composer who has become increasingly drawn to the exploration of color and texture as fundamental musical forces. Initially most drawn to mid-century jazz as a child and teenager, he became fascinated by composers such as Krysztof Penderecki and György Ligeti not necessarily for their exploration of the avant garde, but more for their use of timbre to drive the audience’s emotions. He currently lives in Eugene.
LISTEN: Smoke Billows for Soprano, Violin, Viola, Cello I, Cello II, Contrabass
Soprano: Esteli Gomez; Violin: Izabel Austin; Viola: Annissa Olsen; Cello I: Ramsey Sadaka; Cello II: Makenna Carrico; Contabass: Rhys Gates
This piece was inspired by my own experiences dealing with depression, which I was diagnosed with as a young child. Having grown up with depression, I find that it’s had a profound impact on who I’ve become, and has certainly had a significant impact on my music, though it is typically not intentional. This piece is meant to reflect the sort of listless, static, hollowness I experience during a depressive episode. The text uses imagery of smoke to convey a feeling similar to “normal” emotions, but frustrating separate in a way that makes them so difficult to explain.