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Living A Life In Full

Oct 1, 2023

“I collaborate with the music.”

Composer Tina Davidson explores in her memoir Let Your Heart Be Broken: Life and Music from a Classical Composer, described as “a lyrical reckoning with what it takes to compose a life of cohesion and beauty, out of shattered bits and broken stories.”

 In Let Your Heart Be Broken, Tina juxtaposes memories, journal entries, and insight into the life of an artist—and a mother—at work. Along the way, she meets Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg, survives an attack by nomads in Turkey, and learns her birth father is a world-famous scientist. And throughout, there is the thread of music, an ebb and a crescendo of a journey, out of the past, and into the present, through darkness and into the light.

Tina is a writer and classical composer, now for 45 years, whose works have been performed by ensembles and orchestras across the country, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Cassatt Quartet, as well as recordings with Albany Music and on Deutsche Grammophon, performed by Grammy winning violinist, Hilary Hahn - all while being a single parent. Her life is filled with experiences that are as amazing as they are touching, heart-wrenching as they are instructive, as she shares her dealing with depression and dissociation, and her work to reclaim herself through therapy and spiritual practice.

Let Your Heart Be Broken has also been described as a “lyrical reckoning with what it takes to compose a life of cohesion and beauty out of shattered bits and broken stories” and we discussed her writing process as well, along with forgiveness, grieving and spiritual connection. 

Tina has written that “we are, in the end, a measure of the love we leave behind.” I cannot think of any better way to live a life in full.