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Now or Never

flute, clarinet, electric guitar, piano, and double bass (2010)

Live recording—11.18.10
NOW Ensemble at Roulette, New York, NY


Duration: 8 minutes
Commissioned by: NOW Ensemble
Premiere: September 27, 2010
NOW Ensemble at Strathmore Mansion, North Bethesda, MD

program note

Now or Never is dedicated to the wonderful NOW Ensemble. Although I usually let the music decide what the piece will be called, this time the title was chosen earlier in the composing process, and it seemed to mold the piece into shape. The form looks a bit like the instructions for an interval workout-there is a beginning section of warming up and stretching, followed by a series of passages that gallop along, building to a different point of tension and urgency each time, and return to a slower pace to breathe before moving on. These passages run a little longer every time until the final one gains enough intensity to push through a musical finish line and then walks quietly away into the distance.

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