May 22 at 7pm
May23 at 7:30pm


Mabou Mines
150 First Avenue, Second Floor
New York, NY 10009

There’s no antonym for nostalgia. “Antonym” (working title) attempts to construct the thing we don’t have a word for: if nostalgia is a yearning for the past, “Antonym” longs for forward motion and envisions the future as an escape from pain.

Nostalgia is often associated with childhood. For me, the weather can evoke childhood memories of joy, sadness, or fear. The weather would often be a factor in my state of happiness or unhappiness. For examples, warm weather reminds me of sitting out at recess so that my skin would not tan (dark skin is undesirable in Filipino culture), being bored in my parents’ office in the summer; fall reminds me of back to school, the end of my loneliness. We often remember what the weather was like the day a traumatic event happened.

The piece will be a multi-movement work scored for flute, violin, piano, bass synth, and electronics. Using field recordings of New York City throughout the year, the four seasons serve as a cyclical frame and context for memory.  We will experiment with specific spatial arrangements for the musicians in the performance space, improvisatory sections, and possible electronics effects that are controlled by the musicians on stage.

A recent piece I made confronts the past, the Philippines’ colonial history (the history of my ancestors) and the loss of identity. I am now interested in how we—as humans who have experienced trauma, are descendants of ancestral trauma; who can’t let go of trauma—can possess painful memories without being beholden to them. I hope that through “Antonym,” although there isn’t a word for the thing itself—for the opposite of nostalgia—I come close to forming what the opposite of nostalgia sounds and feels like.