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post-truth lament

commissioned by: Tanglewood Music Center and the Callithumpian Consort, with funding provided by Jeffrey Duryea

June 2017

7 minutes

date: April 2017

instrumentation: two pianos, tuned 1/4 tone apart


recording (performance by Stephen Drury and George Xiaoyuan Fu)

program note:  While there is much to lament in our current political moment, I have been particularly unsettled by the diminished respect for objective truth shown by leading public figures. This ominous development was much on my mind when Stephen Drury invited me to compose a companion piece to the Ives 3 Quartertone Pieces — hence the title. My piece begins with a cathartic burst of anger and then focuses more on harmony.  I was particularly interested in how the quartertone tuning enabled me to voice chords that sounded more in tune than out of tune, attaining “justness" at a time of injustice. This piece is dedicated to my friend Stephen Drury for the inimitable way he brings musical truth to us all.