Concerts from the Library of Congress

Concerts from the Library of Congress developed the Boccaccio Project to provide some artistic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten composers were commissioned to write brief solo works, with the remotely recorded pieces to be premiered online in June 2020.

Premiere Date: TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Composer Aaron Travers has been paired with pianist Daniel Pesca of the Grossman Ensemble to write a new work for solo piano, entitled Olcott Park.

Aaron Travers, photo by James Matthew Daniel

Daniel Pesca, photo by Jay Morthland

AARON TRAVERS

Olcott Park
   Daniel Pesca, piano

About the work

Olcott Park is a place in Bloomington, Indiana, not far from where I live. I used to enjoy going there with my children, who would play soccer or run around on the many paths. I would also take my camera and look for birds to photograph, especially in the spring when prairie warblers, parulas and other migrants would come to visit.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, I have made a few excursions there, but not in recent weeks. There are too many people around, most without masks, most in close proximity to one another. It is not the safe place it had once been. Even the less trodden paths are choked with people, so that there is little peace left there. But I still care for it, and I still hope to return again soon.

This solo piano piece is a remembrance of that place, with its forests and birds, its many paths, and that sense of peace I once felt. It is dedicated to my dear friend, Daniel Pesca with deepest admiration.
~ Aaron Travers

Learn more about the artists

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For more information about the Boccaccio Project, please visit www.loc.gov/concerts/boccaccio-project