“Single Red Flower” was written shortly before, during, and after the death of my two rats Parsley and Sage. They were my pandemic companions, providing much love and friendship during two awful years of lockdown in a small Toronto basement apartment. The two movements are threaded with residual emotion from their passing.

Having never dealt with losing a pet before – let alone two in quick succession – I was mystified, touched, and overwhelmed with the rituals of their little deaths: laying them in the cage for their cagemates to process their death; picking out a flower pot, soil, and seeds in which to bury them; and laying them to rest in a backyard rental in which we would soon be leaving. Only one plant bloomed from the planter, a beautiful red flower of a species I have never seen before.

While I often try to keep my emotions out of my music, this piece inadvertently became strange, small, and ritualistic, reflecting these experiences. Little, quiet sounds are brought to the forefront and amplified to fill the space in the same way that little things can fill our hearts beyond bearing.