My Grandmother’s Ashes (and a Balloon) for Solo Cello

2011 | Commissioned by Rhonda Rider for her 2010-11 Grand Canyon Artist Residency | 3 minutes

Contact for score.


The Grand Canyon Project: Music for Solo Cello
Rhonda Rider, cello
MSR Classics [MS 1462] World Premiere Recordings

Program Note

Back in the late ’80s my brother saw an alien spaceship near the airport with my grandmother. This was after he thought he was Jesus and before he got the idea into his head that when our grandmother died he would rent a balloon and fly over the Grand Canyon to scatter her ashes. My grandmother died many years later when she was ninety-nine and left her body to science. With this lullaby, no balloon, no ashes, just the lilt of a memory wafting up and over the canyon rim.

— Howard Frazin (2011)

Select Performances

  • Taft-Nicholson Center

    Stefan Koch, cello
    University of Utah
    Lakeview, MT
    August 12, 2016

  • Music from Salem

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Hubbard Hall
    Cambridge, NY
    November 12, 2011

  • Wupatki National Monument

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Visitor Center
    Flagstaff, AZ
    October 7, 2011

  • Grand Canyon National Monument

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Shrine of the Ages
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    October 6, 2011

  • Boston Conservatory

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Studio 401
    Boston, MA
    September 24, 2011

  • Cary Institute

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Westbrook, NY
    September 23, 2011

  • University of South Florida

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Tampa, FL
    September 21, 2011

  • Imagination Celebration

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    (six performances)
    Fort Worth, TX
    May 2–6, 2011

  • Boston Conservatory

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Sully Hall
    Boston, MA
    March 10, 2011

  • Grand Canyon National Park (Premiere)

    Rhonda Rider, cello
    Children’s Concert
    Shrine of the Ages
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    February 24, 2011