Persistence of the Blues

Cello and Piano (2013)
One movement
Duration: 22″
Commissioned by The Barlow Endowment for New Music
Premiere: October 10, 2013, Southern Exposure, University of South Carolina
TwoSense: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Lisa Moore, Piano
Persistence of the Blues is part reaction, part return. When offered the commission, I’d been composing opera for the last few years, and the chance to write a no-holds-barred instrumental piece was inspiring. I was eager to hone some new harmonic approaches and to create forms that unfold through the modulation of energy and texture. But as far as I ventured, a sense of the blues – not the twelve bar form, but that longing sound of blues lines falling major to minor – kept returning, saturating the piece.