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Accord (2010)
percussion and piano
Duration: 14’
SMMP No. 119

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Premiere: Sonic Diasporas Festival, Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, La Jolla, January 20, 2011. Patti Cudd, percussion and Shannon Wettstein, piano

Accord, for percussion and piano, was written for Patti Cudd and Shannon Wettstein, longtime friends and colleagues, and current members of the Twin Cities ensemble Zeitgeist. The work takes its point of departure from the Oresteia of Aeschylus, particularly in the final scene of The Eumenides: the confrontation between Athena and the Furies. While this is an archetypal encounter of opposites, one inevitably seeks ways of identifying common ground. After all, that is the intent of Athena’s entreaties to the Furies, who threaten to lay waste to the land, precipitating a calamitous war. Still, the confrontation is elemental, visceral, and the Furies are irrational, so the notion of agreement is remote, even though moments of openness within the piece allow for periods of less fractious interaction. The Furies return again and again with a rant, frustrating Athena’s attempts at persuasion. How does one persuade another who refuses to listen?

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Accord, featuring Patti Cudd and Shannon Wettstein at Studio Z in St. Paul, MN, March 2011