for contralto and violin
Fifteen years ago, mixed in among mundane ofﬁcial forms and memos, I received in my campus mailbox Serena Hilsinger’s Triptych of Gossips. I recall that it was a “weak day of bad month,” and so this gesture of artistry was a great gift, a poem I have turned to many times since for inspiration. With the opportunity to compose a piece for the Chiu/LaBarbara Duo (who premiered the piece in 2010) I returned to it to explore its musical possibilities. After considering a number of different directions, I embarked on a path creating an homage to the 1970’s—combining the exuberance of second wave feminism with the playfulness and enthusiasm with which composers of that era explored the expressive potentials of extended techniques for instruments and voices. The piece is dedicated to Serena Hilsinger and Lois Brynes, great friends who never cease to inspire.