Tears was commissioned for a modern dance festival held at the University of Wisconsin in 1994. As the title suggests, the work is designed to investigate the varying degrees of intensity associated with sadness and the act of crying. Throughout, the sounds of the flute travel through barely audible stuttering, to songlike sadness, to uncontrollable weeping. This wide pallet of direction – a musical surface constantly changing – would give a dancer an emotional canvas upon which to create physical movement. The music that unfolds is a juxtaposition of the hyper-dramatic and the melancholy. Beneath this fluctuating, emotional surface lies a more focused harmonic and formal language. This, I hoped, would create an interior relationship of great extremity to the emotional world more easily perceived while simultaneously lending the work structural meaning and design.