The Lacuna (2017)

piano four-hands and interactive electronics

32 minutes

written for HOCKET and made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation



“The most important part of a story is the piece of it you don’t know.” Barbara Kingsolver, “The Lacuna”

The Lacuna is based on Barbara Kingsolver’s novel of the same title. The novel is comprised of the diaries of a fictional man, Harrison William Shepherd. “The Lacuna” chronicles Shepherd’s life from a first-person point of view: Shepherd grows up in Mexico, works for Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo, and is eventually investigated by the House Un-American Activities. The book is structured chronologically with clearly delineated sections, but the diaries leave significant gaps in time, which compels the reader to construct periods of Shepherd’s life. This sectional structure is conveyed through a series of episodes that are interrupted by performer-less electronic interludes that represent the narrative gaps in the story.


JFund Awardee Samuel Wells Uses Electronics but Retains Human Element