for toy piano, piano, and recorded electronics

premiered 2/1/13, Lyman Hall
Genevieve Feiwen Lee, toy piano; Nadia Shpachenko, piano

duration: 9 minutes

available on Reference CD:



As I worked on this piece, images of falling, floating, and flying often came across my computer monitor. Stunning videos of Felix Baumgartner’s recent jump from space, the second stage of a rocket falling from edge of space into the ocean, and people jumping off cliffs in wing suits were in the back of my mind as I began the piece. The fascinating and unprecedented video of a giant squid swimming in its natural habitat was released as the piece progressed. All these images seem to have woven themselves into the texture of the piece; many of the musical gestures fall or float. On the other hand, the pitches, rhythms and sounds of the music itself often turn to frenzied dance.

All the electronic sounds are fairly simple manipulations of toy piano samples. Most of the pitches in the piece come from the first chord in the piano part.

Airdancing is dedicated to Nadia Shpachenko and Genevieve Feiwen Lee. Their artistry is the real inspiration for the piece.

preview video of Reference Recordings CD, featuring Airdancing: