"Otho" for Solo Cello by Zack Reaves
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"Otho" for Solo Cello by Zack Reaves

"Otho" for Solo Cello - Composed and performed by Zack Reaves (World Premiere Performance) In the early 2010’s, my father Michael Reaves began showing signs of a neurological disorder and was eventually diagnosed in 2015 with Lewy Body Dementia--a brutal progressive neurological disease that not only affects memory, but also cognitive functions. In addition, it is also common for victims of this disease to hallucinate and question their own reality. My father had been the longtime Principal 2nd Violinist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, but was forced to retire in 2016 due to the effects of this horrible disease. Within months of his retirement, he entirely lost the ability to play the instrument he had played since he was a small child. This piece begins in mystery and suspended time as a way to try to illustrate how my father might have felt while trying to process these hallucinations and a perceived alternate reality, as well as the uncertainty and sorrow expressed among my family. Gradually the piece transitions into a celebration of his wonderful life, with particular appreciation for his kind nature and strong character. The final bar is full of conflict: strong harmony in the B-major interval of the lower strings, but uncertainty about life beyond expressed in the left-hand pizzicato of the upper strings. The work was completed on February 8th, 2020. It was only a couple weeks later when my father lost his ability to swallow. He passed away on February 24th, 2020. I played this piece for him the day before while he was on his deathbed. The formal premiere came on March 8th, 2020 at Wanda L. Bass School of Music - Oklahoma City University, my father’s alma mater. The title “Otho” comes from his middle name, Michael Otho Reaves, which he shared with my grandfather William Otho Reaves, who died after being struck by a drunk driver 17 years before I was born. This piece is my way of honoring them both. In hopes that a cure for Lewy Body Dementia can be discovered, all proceeds from the sale of this sheet music will be donated directly to the Lewy Body Dementia Association to aid in their research. Follow this link to purchase the sheet music: https://www.zackreaves.com/product-page/otho-for-solo-cello Performed Sunday, March 8th, 2020 Wanda L. Bass School of Music - Oklahoma City University