Four Accidental Stories for 7 musicians, May 2016

I. Ari, the helicop
II. Slugs!
III. ter pilot who cam
IV. (The dream of) Cerberus, the Clown Warrior
V. e down from heaven
VI. 3 meetings (irritable, awful) - "First Love"


When home alone as a child, I would often sit at the piano and play out a narrative in my head --- a girl danced cheerily in a forest or meadow, while a fierce bear plodded through the woods towards her. The narrative never resolved itself or developed: the music of the bear and that of the girl never came together, battled each other. If memory serves, I plinked out some delicate sounds at the upper end of the keyboard for the girl and then slammed my hands on the keys at the other end for the bear, stopping when I realized I didn't know how to bring this drama to a head. I see this piece as conceived from that same kind of play.

These "stories" comprise a series of independent, informal movements whose musical material is an intuitive translation/transcription of some type of literary, dramatic, or visual-gestural starting point. The titles of the movements allude to the originating idea which is "entertained" in each: from a man's developing relationship with a woman in Beckett's odd love story, "First Love," the illustration of a helicopter pilot-mystic's glory, the imaginations, aspirations, and daydreams of a clown warrior, to the spinning-out of what was originally a graphic score sketch. They are a series of independent vignettes that, by way of their continuity in time, form an odd, possibly-narrative progression.

This piece is an expanded and slightly revised version of: Three Accidental Stories, written in March 2016 and premiered by Ensemble Linea April 2016

Note: Movement 1 (“Ari…”) is missing from the above recording