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Semi Sins

for piano

//  Duration: 5'
//  Date: 2015
//  Instrumentation: solo piano
//  Premiere: 4 November 2015, Philadelphia

Premiere performance November 4, 2015
University of Pennsylvania
Michael Davidman, piano

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This short, mosaic-styled work for solo piano began life as a bigger piece reflecting on the Seven Deadly Sins of early Christian ethics. It has since been whittled down into the leaner piece presented here. Like much of my work, the piece twists and refracts simple notions of human behavior (sin/virtue, pleasure/vice) in favor of more complex, intertwined readings. Thus when I think of Wrath, as in the opening bars of the piece, it’s not just wrath as violence, or wrath as hatred, but wrath as righteous anger, satire, self-loathing, and even the antitheses of all of those things. And when I think of Lust, as in the slower, more lyrical panels of the piece’s mosaic, it’s not just unbridled carnality I consider, but love, the holiness of sex, compassion, and the corporeality of intimacy among all of our relationships (not just with lovers).

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