This work was co-commissioned by the Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony, Inc., and Carnegie Hall
Divided for solo cello and orchestra is a response to the social and political unrest that has plagued our generation in the recent past. Specifically, the sense of helplessness that people seem to feel amidst a world of that seems to be in constant crisis, whether it is over racial injustice, sexual or religious discrimination, greed and poverty, or climate change.
In a world that is so fast-paced, where all of these desperate realities have been unveiled by the internet with constant visual bombardment to the human psyche, how do we regain control and find beauty among the chaos? How can we stack good actions over the negative reactions that easily emerge out of conflict? The cello is a voice crying out to be heard, in chorus with a few, passionate and unrelenting, with the orchestra performing a gritty accompaniment.
— Jessie Montgomery, 2020