Flirting with Disaster

for wind band (grade 4-4.5)


Work completed: Spring 2018

Duration: 7'

In 2015, I wrote a melodramatic piece outlining Stephen Crane’s naturalist short story, “The Open Boat”. In this story, the few survivors of a shipwreck struggle to survive on the vast expanse of the ocean.

Flirting with Disaster is my imagined prologue to this setting. A grandiose, Titanic-esque ship sets sail to glorious applause. Its passengers unabashedly celebrate under the false pretense of invulnerability. As these crowds bask in their pride and party through the night, disaster looms ever closer in the soundtrack.

Flirting with Disaster paints a caricature of the passengers’ naïveté - a satire of their grotesque cheerfulness. The piece, as comically optimistic as it is, serves first and foremost as a cautionary tale.

Flirting with Disaster was written for the Indiana University Concert Band as part of the IU Student Composers Association Hammer and Nail collaboration.

Premiered by the IU Concert Band on September 18, 2018; Jason Nam, conductor.

Premiere recording: Indiana University Concert Band; September 18, 2018; Musical Arts Center; Jason Nam, conductor