The Distance of the Moon (2014)

for flute, violin, and piano

Duration: 10 minutes
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The Distance of the Moon is modeled on the first story in Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics. The charming story is cast in the mold of an old-timer spinning a tall tale. Qfwfq, the narrator, remembers a time when the moon used to arc close to the earth; you used to be able to take a boat out in the middle of the night, stand on a ladder, and touch the moon. You could even jump up, get drawn in by the moon’s gravity, and go exploring. From this story, I drew three particular notions. First, the arcing motion of the moon’s descent led me to explore curving musical lines that descend obliquely, all at different rates. Second, I worked with the idea of opposed gravities, and the implied split-second of suspended ambiguity between competing pulls. The piece begins in a state of suspension, and then resistance to the earthly mounts as the music aspires towards the lunar. Third, I was captivated by the story’s particular tone, which, despite its humor, is suffused with a certain nostalgic yearning.

Click here to view the first three pages of the score

Premiere: Benson Forum for Creativity
Hatch Hall, Rochester, NY — April 2014 with Deidre Huckabay, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

Subsequent performances:
Benson Forum for Creativity
New York University, New York, NY — April 2014 with Deidre Huckabay, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

Kilbourn Hall, Rochester, NY
October 2014 with Zach Sheets, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

MASKfest
Bologna, Italy — July 2015 with Deidre Huckabay, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

SoundSCAPE Festival
Maccagno, Italy — July 2015 with Deidre Huckabay, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival
Valencia, Spain — July 2015 with Deidre Huckabay, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

The Ritsos Project
Karlovassi, Samos, Greece — July 2015 with Zach Sheets, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano