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CFP 2020: Wesley Sumpter Performce Hot Hands, Cold Hands by Elijah Alexander

Watch & Listen

When the pandemic hit, the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellows changed course from writing large chamber music projects to writing solo etudes for LA Phil musicians. Hear Hot Hands, Cold Hands by Elijah Alexander performed by Wesley Sumpter.

Program notes

When writing this piece, I didn't really have any particular ideas in mind until I took a 30-minute break after writing some ideas down. While trying to relax in my room, I began to take into account how hot it was, as summer was just around the corner. My room in particular has no a/c, so it got incredibly hot and dry, and all I could think about was getting a nice cold glass of water. In that mindset, I got a pretty cool idea for how I might write my piece, assigning specific hands to certain “colors” that portrayed what I felt in that moment of being pretty sweaty and thirsty. I feel like the end product very much depicts this struggle, representing pretty well what it feels like for me to have a glass of cold water and relax when everything else around me feels pretty tense and uncomfortable. 

To learn more about the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program, go to