Usinien I Mornië is translated “Escaping The Darkness” from J.R.R. Tolkien’s elvish language, Quenya. Some backstory is necessary to explain the inspirations behind the piece and the origin of the title. At the end of my junior year in college, I found myself in a creative wilderness. The stress of academia and a dark season of emotional turmoil slowly began to take their toll on my musical creativity. I dreaded sitting at the piano to compose because every note I penned seemed to die from lack of inspiration. The first week of my senior year I stepped into a practice room to begin a cello piece – semi-optimistic but also terrified that I would find myself yet again in a place where it seemed I could no longer write music. The opening line popped into my mind almost immediately and I excitedly transcribed what I could “hear” onto paper. As I continued writing and the nature of the work began to unveil itself, I slowly realized that it was a musical reflection of my journey out of the creative and emotional darkness I had experienced at the start of the year. The versatility of the cello and flexibility of an unaccompanied piece was the perfect means to express what I had been feeling. The dramatic, heavy chords and double stops provide an audible source of emotional weight. Yet hope, though faint and allusive, can be glimpsed in the brief lyrical section. The motif of the fast, rhythmic sections strain to break free from the drone-like, open string double stops. To close, Usinien I Mornië is a personal narrative of my escape from the grip of creative necrosis.
Special thanks to Marlin Owen for providing invaluable feedback and sharing his expertise on cello techniques. My undying gratitude to cellist Nathan Cottrell for putting the time and effort into learning, performing, and recording it. He literally brought this piece to life!

Alcar Na Enu.

© Copyright 2018, Caitlin Foster.
Composed, Recorded & Mixed by Caitlin Foster.

I do not own or claim the rights to the illustration - if anyone knows the artist I would be happy to tag them!