Nuances de Noir is available from American Composers Edition (composers.com) and may be ordered here .
Program Notes with Score Video
Though I certainly have my opinions, I tend to keep them to myself.Except for being involved in some demonstrations as a teenager, I tend to not be involved in campaigns for causes or office.It is not that I am against such involvement, it is just that I consider myself a rather unconvincing representative, as my innate cynicism always seems to come through.
But I know or have known a number of people who have been involved, including some people I am very close to.I have found their personal stories to be quite entertaining and moving at times.That kind of interaction is often quite dynamic, and, at times, rather emotionally charged.
Despite the recent ultra-divisive atmosphere, I had the idea to write a work based on the human and emotional side of campaigning.A concert with Urban Nocturnes in March of 2024 offered me that opportunity. The work is in four five-minute episodes which examine four different experiences.
1. Episode of Excitement and Confrontation.Entering a campaign takes commitment and energy.It is often done with verve and excitement.The piece begins with lots of nervous energy and testing of the waters, but finally gains momentum.Eventually, the campaign runs into some serious conflicting views (represented by the triplets) and leads to a confrontation.The piece ends with some soul searching, but the same original conviction, though in a more quiet mood.
2. Episode of Temptation.Any campaign will eventually run into questionable situations or even proposals.This movement is full of allure and distraction.The movement ends with a quote from Ravel’s “Beauty and the Beast” from his Mother Goose Suite, and it’s not the Beauty.
3. Episode of Electricity.As a campaign gains momentum, there is a great deal more excitement and a lot more work.Things become a bit of a blur as adrenaline pulls everyone through the long days.This movement starts hesitantly, but picks up and plows ahead until it seems to drop from exhaustion.
4. Episode of Disappointment.Unfortunately, in most, though not all of the cases I am personally familiar with, the campaign has failed.This is likely more a reflection on me than them.There is disappointment, of course, and many cases of “What if . . .” but the firmness of the conviction always remains.