Doing and Being (2015)

for solo piano & ensemble
(flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, 2 percussionists, harp, and string quintet)

Duration: 9 minutes

The two movements of Doing and Being evoke a dichotomy that many of us experience every day. First, there is our public persona: our selves in the world, doing and accomplishing in a barely-controlled frenzy of nervous energy. The piano—less a virtuosic soloist in this work than a sort of protagonist—leads the charge with a nearly constant perpetual motion. At first, this winding line is merely colored by the ensemble, but soon it sets the entire group spinning. The second movement is the individual at rest, after the masks and business of the day have fallen away. Rather than the outward-focused energy of the first movement, here all is reflective and comparatively non-linear. Some of the same harmonies occur in both movements, suggesting the restful mind of “being” assimilating and meditating upon the experiences of “doing.”

Premiere: Rochester, NY — Eastman Composers’ Sinfonietta with Oliver Hagen, cond. and the composer as soloist — April 2015