Fake Smile (2016, arr. 2020) was commissioned by saxophonist Maggie Weisensel for her lecture-recital focusing on women composers in contemporary music. She asked that this piece somehow reflect my personal experiences as a woman composer, and to that end, Fake Smile explores the feeling of social exhaustion and the veneer of excitement at public events and formal gatherings. I often find myself having to exert a high, bright energy in these situations, often responding to unfriendly attitudes and comments with a forced smile. In discussing this learned reaction with other women, including the commissioner, I realized it was universal. This translates to Fake Smile with the use of rubato, cadenza-like sections and relentless fast passages—the juxtaposition of what we feel versus what we project.
Arrangement for flute premiered by Michael Avitabile at Connecticut Summerfest 2020 Virtual Fundraiser Gala.