Day 52: Brian Morales

Brian Morales with Daphne Gooch

Alexandria, Virginia, United States

The title Smoking Lounge at the End of the World comes from a song with the same name by the LA-based band, Trash Honey. The connotation of a bleak ending but in a comfortable, relaxed setting such as a lounge just about captures the tenor of the Summer of 2020. I wrote this piece shortly after my wedding day which, although a happy occasion, was missing all of my family who were in a different part of the country; particularly my mother. I reflected on the idea of mothers across the country not able to attend their children’s weddings and this perpetual, chaconne-like music kept repeating itself in my head. That chaconne idea evolved into the meditative and contemplative music you see before you.

I dedicate this work to my mother, Gretchen, who, in the interest of public health, resisted traveling across the country to be present at my wedding, comfortably waiting for the end of this traumatic era and the birth of something new and better. I give this music as an offering of peace in the hopes that we may all listen and reflect on marriages across the world – marriages that, while a happy occasion to behold, were had with empty chairs and tables.


California-native Brian Morales has established an exciting presence on the New York music scene, with a reputation for excellence as a composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Nominated for an Olivier Award (Best Orchestration for the West End production of The Color Purple directed by John Doyle), Morales continues to explore soundscapes with dramatic elements, including ballet and sound design.


Education is the biggest thing I care about. I genuinely believe it is the path to a safer, informed and harmonious society. Please consider a charitable donation to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). They are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and they do fantastic work.

As Mark Twain put it, “Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.”

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