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“Maybe this is the secret chord – that each of us is whole within ourselves, to fully know and sing out our single note, so that we may join the wider chord, the set of strings, so that the sound we make moves and shakes each of us together in a dynamic, terrifying, shivering joy, covering us like light, clinging to us like dark.” -Wes Sam-Bruce
I made this album not because I am particularly obsessed with the emotion of sadness, but because I believe in the humanity of every feeling. We can’t have joy without sadness. We can’t be whole without knowing our brokenness. Each of the composers on this record has offered their own beautiful, vulnerable response to a sadness. Let us learn to mourn every day a little. To help heal ourselves, each other, and this world. -Jonah
STRONG SAD is a classical new music commissioning and recording project featuring newly composed elegies for violist Jonah Sirota. The elegy as a musical form has often found a home in the plaintive middle-register voice of the viola—it tugs, and makes us aware of our inner landscape. On STRONG SAD, rather than the big catastrophes, the music will mourn the small, everyday losses. While some of these works may refer to lost friends and loved ones, this project will reaffirm that mourning is too important to save only for funerals, and that sadness, when given a chance to breathe, can be our best path to deep and lasting contentment and joy. The project features new works by Paola Prestini, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigur∂sson, Robert Sirota, A.J. McCaffrey, and Rodney Lister, as well as a new work from the duo Mondegreen, and a debut composition (featured below) by Jonah Sirota.