ensemble solo piano
duration 9 minutes
written fall 2006/spring 2007
written for my own self
premièred May 24, 2007, New York City
published by ↪ Project Schott New York
How can I live in your world of ideas? takes its unwieldy name from the caption of a cartoon I drew in college, which depicts a young penguin and his parents in a museum, looking at a painting of a naked woman. This piece starts out as a passacaglia or theme and variations, but is then gradually overtaken by extraneous material from somewhere else entirely. Originally written for two pianos as part of Shy and Mighty. I transcribed it for a solo pianist (myself) because I needed something to play at short notice; in its solo version, however, the pianist must work much more strenuously to denote the mercurial transitions (“needle-drops”) which characterize the piece.
Timothy Andres’s haunting “How Can I Live in Your World of Ideas?” starts with a coolly sophisticated line that he punctures with little bursts. Uneasily elegiac, the piece folds in short quotes from Chopin and Mozart without becoming cute or emptily postmodern. It exudes melancholy, a sense of loss.
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, 5/27/2011
recorded live at Firehouse 12, New Haven, December 2008
performers Timothy Andres, piano