Push

for voice, (bass) flute, (bass) clarinet, accordion
Premiere: Ensemble L’arsenale, July 2013 (6.5 minutes)

Text:::

If I hold my breath, I can feel heaven
When I close my eyes, I see God
When I inhale, it pushes through my veins
You exhale, breathe a kiss into my lungs

The generating impulse of Push is the breath or pneuma, what Aristotle termed the “vital heat,” that which in Stoic philosophy, was the mixture of the elements of air (in motion) and fire (or warmth). Within this context, it is the active, generative principle that organizes both the individual and the cosmos. Push was written from a place of desperation, of anxiety, and of fear; however, my aim was always to write something else entirely, something that I was afraid would have been too sentimental–a love song. Thus, the piece exists where ecstasy and uncertainty meet; the warmth and motion of one’s pneuma can meet another’s and conjoined in sonic energy, they would propel the music forward.