ensemble two pianos
duration 60 minutes
written fall 2005-spring 2007
written for senior essay for Yale College
premièred May 9, 2007, New Haven, CT
published by ↪︎ Project Schott New York
recorded February 2009 for Nonesuch 522413
Shy and Mighty is a full-length album of music for two pianos. It began as a kind of personal compositional notebook back in 2005, and after a gestation period, emerged transformed into a big butterfly, I mean senior thesis project. Since then, it’s gone on to become my début album, which I recorded with David Kaplan and was released by Nonesuch in 2010.
A simple tripartite piece which sounds like a robotic toccata.
- The night jaunt
A long nocturnal walk, solitary or perhaps with a friend.
An interstitial movement which leads nowhere.
- Trip by train
A virtuosic conversation between pianos, which eventually becomes contemplative and lyrical, finally falling asleep.
- Die Spieluhr
A music box which plays disjunct Mahler and Brahms.
- Out of shape
Chews on I and V chords for a good long time.
- La Malinconia
A verse/chorus structure, with long melodic lines built from repeated-note figures.
- How can I live in your world of ideas?
Takes its name from the caption of a cartoon I drew, 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 theme and variations, but is then gradually overtaken by extraneous material from somewhere else entirely.
- Flirtation Ave.
An extended process of “coming together”, followed by a rowdy coda.
- Pavane (pour un compositeur défunt)
An homage to gospel music and the late composer D. M., or perhaps neither.
recorded live at Le Poisson Rouge, May 17, 2010, courtesy of Q2
performers Timo Andres and David Kaplan, pianos