On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida panhandle as a category 4 hurricane. It would end up being the strongest hurricane to hit that part of the state. Living in Tallahassee, I did not have to endure the worst of the storm; however, even being on the outer edges of the vicious winds was enough to uproot ancient trees and tear through power lines and houses as if they were never there. The storm left neighborhoods and cities in the dark for days and weeks.
Only a few days before this storm, I was informed I had been awarded the opportunity to participate in the RED NOTE New Music Festival and compose a new work to be premiered at the festival. As I began this new work in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, I was surrounded by the unnatural silence of a neighborhood with no electricity and the ever-dancing shadows created by candlelight (yes, I found and lit every candle I could so I would have enough light to work from). Quickly, I discovered my mind does not like the silence or the darkness. In our current world full of constant distractions and never- ceasing methods of occupying our attention, I was anxious about being caught in the lightlessness, and the quietness that should have offered a sense of calm after the storm only provided me uneasiness.
Delirium Nocturnum was born out of this disquiet restlessness. The dancing shadows always moving in the corner of my eyes along the wall and the whispering howls echoing after the hurricane winds passed through found their way onto the page and began to move. As the darkness lingered, these voices grew and twisted with the flickering candlelight. By the end of the piece, the distant howls and shapeless dancers have been defined and can be seen (and heard) for what they are: the wild and frantic creations of a restless mind at night.