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So when I was originally planning my recital, I had a concept in my mind. I originally wanted to play with the idea of colors and different hues. I had it all planned out- the color scheme and the pieces...but life took a turn. 

My father- who was already sick- was in the hospital again during one of my residencies in Washington D.C. The next week he had passed away. 

Our relationship had its ups and downs and turns. 

I felt lost. I almost wanted to give up on the recital. 

Then one day I was looking through my phone and found these old voicemails from my father- it brought back feelings I had- feelings of regret, anger and sadness. 

Four years ago when I use to be in therapy, my therapist told me during an early session that sometimes it's hard to talk to people about your problems... but you can always start by seeing what's going on with yourself first. So I decided to do video diaries of where my mind was on certain days. 

I decided to do one more to allow myself to figure out how to process my fathers death... and thus the concept for this was born. I took that session- along with two other sessions (both from March 7th- one from 2021 before entering UT and the other during my closing time here) and created a confessional of raw emotion, memories, and of course moments of letting go. The musical choices come from moments where I've lost myself and found myself. 

TAHJ isn't for a degree requirement. It's a way for me to cope with my father's death- to create closure from the pain. 


In order to find myself I had to go back. 

doctored Tahj Photo.jpg

DIARY # 1:

MARCH 7TH, 2021

The beginning of the project depicts the last video diary I did before coming to the University of Texas. It deals with my mental state and the battles I faced- and to a certain extent- battles I still face. 

The Players


(he/him) VIOLIN


(she/her) VIOLA

Casey Boyer is a senior at UT Austin pursing degrees in Viola Performance and Journalism. A student of Roger Myers, she has served as principal violist of the UT Symphony and Butler Opera Center, and is the only undergraduate in the Sienna String Quartet, a professional all-female ensemble. She has been a finalist in the Coltman and Saint Paul String Quartet Competitions and has performed for the Miró, Kronos, and Rolston Quartets. Casey also has a passion for new music, and has premiered multiple solo and ensemble pieces by UT composers. Alongside her work as a classical performer, she plays viola and electronics in the Austin-based experimental pop band Hover.


(he/him) CELLO

Junior at UT studying Cello Performance with Bion Tsang with a minor in Entrepreneurship.


(she/her) VIOLIN

Japanese-American violinist Ellie Sievers began playing violin at the age of three and currently studies with Brian Lewis at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). Her recent accolades include Senior Audience Prize at the 2022 St. Paul String Quartet Competition, as a member of the Yánsù Quartet; Grand Prize at the 2021 International Music Festival and Competition in Markham, Ontario; and First Place in Open Strings at the 2021 Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Competition. Ellie has played in numerous orchestras, including the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, where she currently serves as co-concertmaster; the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra (2022); the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2019-2021); and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (2017-2020), where she served as co-concertmaster in the 2019/20 season. She has also performed as a soloist with the Canadian Sinfonietta, the North York Concert Orchestra, and the Kindred Spirits Orchestra. As the winner of the 2022 UT Austin Rising Stars Competition, she will perform with the Austin Civic Orchestra in their next season. Additionally, Ellie was selected to participate in the Suzuki Method “Ten Children” tour in Japan (2012) and in the Young Artists Summer Program at the Curtis Institute of Music (2018). Passionate about film, Ellie is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Radio-Television-Film at UT Austin as a Moody Honors student. In the future, she aims to use music and multimedia to feature diverse voices and storytelling to bridge cultures and advocate for human rights and values.

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