My new work, The Hand of God, will be premiered at Barge Music in Brooklyn, NY on July 22nd (very soon!) by Ukrainian-American Grammy™ Award winning pianist Nadia Shpachenko. This work was a part of her GOAT commissioning project, funded by New Music USA, which you can read about here.
The (much too long) program note I put together for this work:
“The Hand of God” refers to an “illegal” goal made by Argentine footballer Diego Maradona during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals against England. In this work I intended to have the musical materials derive from soccer moves and trajectory mimic that of getting more proficient at those moves. While writing this work, I learned of “The Hand of God” and its anti-colonial connotations in the context of the Falklands War, and how Diego later relayed that he viewed this illegal move as “symbolic revenge” against England. This work is a loose metaphor for the journey that Diego took towards mastery of the art of football. As such the work is at times lumpy, uncomfortable, and viscous with many harsh and deeply dissonant cluster chords. But, out of that discomfort is brought a clarity, as the piece seems to “learn the trick” after much repetition. Ultimately there is a moment containing consonant chords inserted just for a moment before an extremely grand gesture finishing the work. I interpret this as both divine intervention and the feeling of finally having a breakthrough where, in the midst of learning a new skill, one actually begins to make progress.
Also on the program are New York/East Coast premieres by Pamela Z, Ian Dicke, Dana Kaufman, David Sanford, and Adam Schoenberg as well as brand new works by Christopher Cerrone, Harold Meltzer, Evan Ware, and my former teacher, Thomas Flaherty.