Upon Return to Earth is based on Richard Strauss’s song “Befreit” Op. 39 and the associated text by Richard Dehmel. Concerning the loss of a spouse, the poem focuses on the joy of human relationships rather than the inevitable separation. This piece is an envisioning based on the concluding lines of the poem:
We have freed each other from sorrow.
And so I return you to the world!
You will then appear to me only in dreams,
and bless me and weep with me.
Upon Return to Earth was composed for the California State Long Beach Laptop Ensemble for theatrical performance at La Mama Spoleto Open, Spoleto Due Mondi Festival 2013 under the direction of Brian Byungkoo Ahn and Martin Herman.