Use Your Inside Voice

Use Your Inside Voice (2014)
Chamber Orchestra (17 players) – 8 min.

“Use your inside voice” is an admonition well used by elementary school teachers and parents (and grandparents) when the kids are getting a bit too boisterous. I used it as a note to myself, determined to try something different from the high-energy super-extroverted sharply profiled music I find myself drawn toward. And it occurs to me that society as a whole might need to be reminded to use our inside voices — it might make it easier to listen to and reflect upon what we are saying to each other. So this piece, Use Your Inside Voice, is not terribly loud or blazingly fast or mysteriously quiet or remarkably insistent, though the little mantra heard in the harp at the opening never disappears for long. My hope is that in the context of this “Moderate Music” the subtle harmonic shadings, touches of instrumental color, lilting refrains and strands of earnest lyricism in the piece will speak to the listener beguilingly and lucidly throughout its modest 8-minute length.