Dance Suite No.2 (1977)
for Piano Solo
3.  I've Made Up My Mind


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In 1977 I started an improvisatory ensemble.  It was modeled after some of the then current jazz ensembles, except it did not have a drummer.  Our "solo" sections turned into group free improvisation segments, piquing my interest in free improvisation, a trait which has continued ever since.  For the ensemble, I wrote several tunes.  During the summer, I used these tunes to create several piano pieces.  I orchestrated the first two suites.  "Treadmill" and "Voodoo Woman" were performed, but my impression was that I had made some miscalculations and the orchestrations were too busy.  Treadmill for orchestra was retained, but I did not pursue performance of any of the others.

"I've Made Up My Mind" is for my Grandmother Stallcop who died in 1975 at the age of 96.  She had been depressed by the death of my grandfather (at the age of 100) and recent death of my Uncle Art.  She had told one of my aunts that she did not intend to outlive any more of her children.  (She had lost two to diphtheria in the 1920"s.)  Even at her extreme age she was slim, active, and mentally sharp, and was living alone.  Without saying anything to anybody, she simply stopped eating.  After two weeks, she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.  As the doctor was administering IV fluids to her, she looked up and said, "It won't do any good, you know, Doc, I've made up my mind."  She died quietly that evening surrounded by family.