echo yes no

(2019) 25' /for two harps and live electronics

Written for the Duo Aecstaly, Alice Belugou and Estelle Costanzo and commissioned for them by the ZeitRäume Festival, Bernhard Günther, Intendant, with support from Kulturelles Basel-Land und Basel-Stadt. The premiere performance took place on September 21st, 2019 in Basel during the ZeitRäume Festival with the Duo Aecstaly and Andreas Eduardo Frank, live electronics.

Composer's note

Generally speaking, I tend to emphasize the positive in life with my music, and thus lightness and humor are not foreign to me. However, and for no apparent reason, echo yes no (2019) for two harps and live electronics, as with as my Piangerò la sorte mia (2018) for mezzo soprano and ensemble, originates from a more somber place – „worry, don’t be happy". echo yes no was conceived to be performed either before or after a composition for two harps by Karlheinz Stockhausen called JOY (FREUDE), yet makes no musical reference to it besides the instrumentation. My composition is complimentary to in it’s contrast: It offers no joyous anticipation, no joyful reminiscences, and no cries of joy. Instead, echo yes no dwells on an individuals inner struggle with a difficult, perhaps momentous, decision, through which one can endure only due to seeing a shimmer of hope that redemption from the pain will come. - Mike Svoboda, May 2019

"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet." - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963), page 73.

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