On The Street Where I Live (2022)
for Percussia
commissioned by Percussia through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

1. The Never-ending Ambulances
2. “Help, Somebody!”
3. Gasn Nign (Street Tune)
4. Desperate Measures

A cycle of four pieces for flute, fadolín, harp and two percussionists, it is inspired by my neighborhood, the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I have lived since 1990. The first movement “The Never-ending Ambulances” is, an aural portrait of our essential workers as they drove through the streets at all hours at the peak of the pandemic. “Help, Somebody!” takes its musical germ from a person named William who would show up on our corner in the evenings to ask for change by singing a Gospel-style song. I would hear fragments of it from our window. “Gasn Nign” (“Street Tune” in Yiddish) is a tune I improvised while performing on our corner and expanded for this piece. The final movement, “Desperate Measures”, is a dance — Balkan? Latin? Klezmer? Celtic? — impossible to pin down culturally and rhythmically, just like all of us, searching for a way forward.


CATEGORY chamber music
INSTRUMENTATION Flute (+ piccolo), Fadolín, Harp, and two percussionists: marimba, dumbek, snare drum, rain stick, crotales, amplified pencil
DURATION 15 minutes
The Falchi Building
Long Island City, Queens, NY
WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMERS Margaret Lancaster, flute
Susan Jolles, harp
Ljova, fadolín
Ingrid Gordon + Frank Cassara, percussionists

June 8, 2022 at Travers Park, Queens

SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]