New composition: echo yes no (2019) for two harps and live electronics

Generally speaking, I tend to emphasize the positive in life with my music, and thus lightness and humor are not foreign to me. However, for no apparent reason, echo yes no (2019) for two harps and live electronics, as with my Piangerò la sorte mia (2018) for mezzo soprano and ensemble, originates from a darker place—"Worry, don’t be happy". echo yes no was commissioned by the harp duo Aecstasy—Alice Belugou and Estelle Costanzo—with the intention of performing it before or after Karlheinz Stockhausen's JOY (FREUDE) for two harps. Thus, my work is complementary to JOY but musically makes no reference to it except through the instrumentation. There is therefore no joyous anticipation, no joyful citation, and no tears of joy. Instead, echo yes no an inner struggle with a difficult, momentous decision, supported by a touch of hope and confidence in redemption from inner turmoil.
- 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.

Go back