Love Medicine 2 - 2BSN/PN
Composer: Ferenz, Amber
Publisher: T.D. Ellis
for 2 bassoons and piano
by Amber Ferenz (b. 1973) - American composer and bassoonist
From the composer:
Love Medicine 2 for Two Bassoons and Piano is a celebration, a collaboration of heart and soul meant to be shared with dear friends.
I decided to expand Love Medicine thanks to the beautiful playing of Sasha Gee Enegren’s students at Middle Tennessee State University. Katherine and Andrew wanted to play Love Medicine together, which they accomplished by alternating phrases and playing in unison. They asked me if I was okay with that. Was I ever! I sat there listening to the beauty they’d created with tears running down my face, enjoying the color shifts from one player to the other and admiring their playing.
A lot has changed in the world and inside me since I first wrote Love Medicine, which actually began as an opera about gender identity-- I worked on it for about six months and only had three songs -- and then I scrapped it. I took the seeds from those songs and planted them here. Temple Bells is exactly what it sounds like, a white lotus floating in a temple pool with peace all around and the sounds of the temple bells punctuating the quiet, but things get quite personal in What Lies Between Us. Originally, the second movement was a song called “Are You a Boy or a Girl?” In 2014, I had no language for what I was. All I knew was that I hadn’t felt like either cis gender my entire life. This internal state of confusion was brought painfully to light one day during a wind quintet school kiddie show, when a young child asked me that very question. All I could do was stutter that I was a girl, play the rest of the job, slink away and cry, deeply upset because I DIDN’T KNOW EITHER. Now, comfortable in my queer and trans self as a Walks Between nonbinary being, I can smile and answer that child’s question: “I’m an experience.” The tension in What Lies Between Us is from the not-knowing, that spark that puts you on a quest to find your true self. Love > Fear is about the awesome power of knowing you’re scared, feeling that fear, and doing whatever it is that scares you anyway.
-Amber Ferenz, February 2022.