Orchestration

for ‘cello and piano

Duration

6 minutes

Commissioned by/Premiere

Commissioned by and dedicated to Inbal Segev as part of the 20 for 2020
Recording Project.

The premiere recording took place at Oktaven Audio, Mt Vernon, NY with
Inbal Segev, cello and Timo Andres, piano.

Listen

Also available from all other streaming platforms.

Score

The-Pleasure-at-Being-the-Cause-Full-Score

This piece is held in exclusivity until February 1, 2024.

Note

The phrase “The Pleasure at Being The Cause” was coined by the German psychologist Karl Groos. To him, it’s quite simple—as humans, we play because we love putting something into the universe and for it to have a predictable corresponding effect.

This phrase was in my mind when Inbal Segev asked me to write a piece reflecting upon the experience of living through a pandemic year. Among all the terrible losses for so many people, I thought about a simple one: about how I missed stumbling through duets with my friends.

Groos’s idea seemed to relate to the core joys of playing chamber music: each moment is determined by one player relating to the other. And so I wrote a brief piece for cello and piano reflecting on this idea. It opens with the simple sound of freely bouncing the bow on the string. This bouncing sound (the cause) is then imitated by the piano (the effect). As the piece proceeds the roles of cause and effect changes moment to moment, but each player’s role throughout is tightly bound to this simple idea.