Michelle Gage

A War Wherein

I started studying classical piano in 2008, after losing my vision to Diabetic Retinopathy,and I began composing classical music when I was eighteen. Currently, I am twenty-years-old and attend Florida State College at Jacksonville, where I am acquiring credits that are going towards my Associates in Liberal Arts degree. In the fall of 2015, however, I plan to transfer to Jacksonville University to study music composition and theory. My piece, "A War Wherein", marks the fourth piece in my first opus, as well as a huge turning point in my life.

Click here to Listen to A War Wherein, Op. 1 No. 4.

This particular piece was written right at the very beginning of 2014. It was a new year, and new things were happening, so it was only natural that new music was to come. At the time, I had been in a serious relationship for about three years, and the writing began just as soon as the relationship ended. I was completely lost. I had no clue as to who I was, or in what direction I should have been going with my life. I acquired a sense of stagnancy—being completely unable to define myself as an individual, and had trouble with not letting my blindness define me. I was stuck, and as a result, did what I always did and turned to my music.

For me, A War Wherein, Op. 1 No. 4 became a piece of immense empowerment. This composition reminds me that regardless of what bad things may happen in life, I have to keep on pushing forward to maintain the peace of my soul. No matter what, darkness is never permanent. It's simply a temporary state one goes through before one is completely illuminated. The loss of the one closest to my heart has brought me to understand and appreciate the beauty that lies within everyday life. In a way, I am most thankful for my experience. It has shaped me into a better human being, and through being introspective, has also allowed me to see better than I ever could. With this piece of music, I hope to share my newly-found wisdom, and let others know that true blindness is only achieved through losing oneself, completely. I have learned that in life, no one is ever alone. There are always other people in the world thinking and feeling the things I am, whether or not the causes happen to be the same. Suffering is merely part of the human condition. It is inevitable, and without it, peace and light would always be kept in the dark.