Our group reflection on the text prior to their performance was a true heart-to-heart, and I think the sharing of insight about the meaning of Rossetti's text was illuminating for us all. The key word that was brought into the discussion that did not make itself apparent to me when I was setting it was "selflessness." The shift of the narrator from asking to be remembered to granting the reader the (clearly impossible) option the chance to "forget and smile" is a great act of love.
It was incredibly encouraging as a composer to see a thriving program, led by Janet Galván, that connects creators with performers and educators. These collaborations are what keep us all connected and make art a living process rooted in earth.