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Program note

Lift High, Reckon—Fly Low, Come Close (2008)
Instrumentation: violin, cello, piano
Duration: 11 minutes


Quite often titles for pieces arrive on the sidelines of the composing process and somehow just seem right. This was not the case with this piece, whose title required a deliberate search after the piece was written. At a loss for some time, I finally decided to try to describe in very simple terms what I think the piece feels like, which is a way of thinking about what the piece is about, and I came up with the longish title, Lift High, Reckon—Fly Low, Come Close. There are two distinct musics in the first half or so of the piece—the very ‘lifted’, almost suspended, material of the opening and the fairly dry, ‘considered’ (reckoned?) music initially presented by the piano. As the piece plays out, these two kinds of material grow and interact, resisting each other but also integrating in various ways.

I’m grateful to Andy Waggoner, Caroline Stinson, and Molly Morkoski, who commissioned this piece and played its premiere. I am also grateful to Matt Bengtson, Tom Kraines and Ghislaine Fleishman for their help in the earlier stages of the composition.


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