Portrait of a Homeless Man
Piano | Duration c. 3'30"
Hewitt Hill Music
Portrait of a Homeless Man was commissioned by Hannah King and first performed in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College in March 2013. The previous year I had been working a part-time job in Philadelphia, when on my daily walk to work I began to see the same homeless man going about his own morning routine. He had a peculiar way about him that has stuck with me ever since; a kind man with a slight limp, pushing a cart filled with bags and bottles, the occasional bit of scrap metal that he managed to salvage. Despite his kindness, there was an unmistakable sadness in his eyes, clearly a product of the harsh conditions of life that the homeless must endure.
In the years since, I have returned to West Philadelphia numerous times but have been unable to find this man. Though I never asked him for his name, this piece remains as a musical impression of my brief interactions with him.