Acrobats I–VI (5’)
Commission: Ensemble Mise-En (Yumi Suehiro, piano)
Premiere: Mise-En Place, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, April 28, 2017
Hanging Mobiles and Acrobats I-VI are the first two pieces in the Calder Project, a collection of short works for solo piano composed over the course of ten years (2017 is Year 3), each composed for a different pianist and each inspired by a different aspect of the sculptural work of Alexander Calder. Hanging Mobiles, which was written for and premiered by Jacob Greenberg (International Contemporary Ensemble), draws inspiration from Calder’s kinetic sculptures, which often appear to be suspended in orbit, unaffected by the laws of gravity. Acrobats I-VI, which takes its name from Calder’s series of wire sculptures, is a set of micro-variations on a simple two-chord progression. The six variations are played back-to-back without pauses, and each is named for its distinct musical personality: I. Swaying; II. Tumbling, III. Balancing; IV. Leaping; V. Dancing; VI. Floating. Acrobats I-VI was composed for and is dedicated to Yumi Suehiro.