From the composer:
...and I feel to be a cog in something turning... Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”
I wrote Cog within a year of beginning to identify publicly as male. Its compositional process helped me to make sense of much of the “noise,” from all sides and from within, that has been pervasive throughout my gender transition, and to begin to ascertain who or what I am and how and to what extent I fit into the world. The piece features a single line created by the two percussionists, with periodic sounds created by an electronic percussion instrument that fails to conform to the milieu established by the other timbres. Later, the electronic instrument initiates a longer sonic backdrop for the rest of the piece, which sheds light on the inner monologue behind its outbursts. Source material comes from auditory fragments of my life experience and creative output, including previous compositions, recordings of my voice, and music, TV, and movie samples.
We came across LJ’s music while doing research of LGBTQ+ composers who might be a good fit for our first concert, and we were instantly drawn in by the quality and complexity of his music. While we weren’t able to commission a completely new work, we are very excited that we were able to have LJ create a new version of his piece, Cog, for our debut concert. The music is endlessly intriguing with its puzzle-piece-like details, and it thematically complements our mission of promoting LGBTQ+ visibility.