Crossings was composed in April-May 2000, as a follow-up to Ripples, and makes
similar use of a rhythmically timed electronic echo effect, which enhances the textural density of a solo melodic line.
Crossings also uses a live sampling technique – in which a series of patterns are captured into a
recorded loop and repeated back – allowing the soloist to play an additional melodic layer while the
sampled pattern continues. Aside from the crossing of harmonic and melodic lines existing on the musical level,
the title also refers to a book I had recently read, Crossings: A White Man's Journey into Black America,
by Walt Harrington. The book describes one man's sadness and occasional hope concerning the condition of race
relations in contemporary America as he travels through a number of states meeting a variety of black people.
While my own research has not been nearly so extensive, I nevertheless share many of the author's sentiments,
and the subject was on my mind while creating this piece. Also intersecting with my work on Crossings
was the sudden and unexpected passing of my father in Scotland. Only a few days before I had been discussing
the composition with him over the phone, as I wondered about some additional material with a distinctive mood.
This material (now the coda section) later seemed like a musical premonition of my sadness over this loss.
And with its incorporation came the realization that the title, Crossings, would take on an additional
meaning: a crossing over from life into death. Crossings is dedicated to my father, a pianist and
composer himself – Mr. Gerald Hind.