I’ve written the piece Finding at least a dozen times. The first time was for a concert at CalArts in 2018 after which it began making its way into my other works. Initially, Finding was just a short piece for DesoDuo (Kevin Good, Katie Eikam) meant to illustrate our short history playing together. With each measure the notes and the performers (at least in our realization where two people share a vibraphone) move closer and closer until they meet on a B natural. Shortly after that performance I began writing pieces to fill specific notebooks and to use the material on which the pieces were composed as a frame for the compositional material. In these more open scores, Finding was often snuck into a page, a reminder of the simplicity of the piece’s form and its inherent modular nature.
I felt that while Finding found alternate homes in other works, it needed companions and a home of its own. I had tried for a while to conceive of a way of expanding the piece’s idea into a set of works rather than continuing to sew the single piece into other scores. In 2020 during the lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic I tried a new approach to writing these companion pieces. They would be a modular narrative in its most simple and reduced form. These pieces, as a collection, are simply titled Songs for Two. The score only indicates notes on a staff but I’ve always viewed it as operatic and theatrical (though despite the title these pieces do not need to use voice). Each score is a simple form showcasing the state of two people engaging in some type of dialogue with one another. It is up to the performers to determine the best way for these pieces to be presented, the possibilities and realizations will always end up being unique to each set of two people. Katie and I decided to continue our theme from the first performance of Finding, We performed each of the pieces sharing a vibraphone. There is no order to the collection rather the pieces can be arranged or even omitted to generate a new narrative each time.
Songs for Two