For Solo Violin
Duration: 4’ 40”
Year of Composition: 2017
The work received its premiere performance at the University of Cauca, Popayán, Colombia
Lola (2017), is an elegy dedicated to Eudocia Tomas Pulido an enslaved woman who conquered the world’s attention when her story was released by Alex Tizon in the June 2017 issue of The Atlantic. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex Tizon recalls fond memories of how his grandfather brought her to America at the age of 18 as a presented to his Alex’s mother Asuncion. His grandfather, who was a colonel in the Army needed someone to look after his then 12-year-old daughter and thus not only did Lola serve as a mother but also eventually as sister and protector, sometimes standing in for Asuncion when the colonel punished her for misbehaving. She protected, chaperoned and served Asuncion for 56 years. She saw the young girl became a medical doctor and a mother of five.
According to Alex, his “parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been. So many nights, on my way to the bathroom, I’d spot her sleeping in a corner, slumped against a mound of laundry, her fingers clutching a garment she was in the middle of folding. One of the tragic consequences of slavery is that it makes both enslaved people and those who exploit them unfree in a way, and unable to simply extricate themselves from the consequences of servitude.” There are not enough words to describe my sentiments for Eudecia. She went through a lot, and in writing this elegy, I hope that people can reflect on her life, the good, the bad, the love she gave, and the love she insufficiently and rarely had.
Soloist: Travis Waymon