Shibui (2017) - co-composed with Susanna Hancock for Terroir New Music

Program Notes

New Year’s Eve is a time of both reflection and looking forward.


This evening’s music is meant to capture this feeling in multiple ways, but it is also composed with tonight’s menu in mind. Chef Eric Fralick has crafted a menu that we find to be particularly beautiful and fitting : nostalgic and fresh at the same time.


The music tonight will be presented in a unique way. As you advance through the multiple courses of this meal, the music will change as the food changes. You will also hear music coming from the tables around you, and the way the different musics blend throughout the space will likely change how you hear the music at your table. You may hear music coming from across the room you heard moments ago close by, which is meant to evoke the feelings of nostalgia and memory.

We used the menu as a guide as much as possible when composing this music. For example, if a course has crunchy elements, we incorporated “crunchy” sounds. In the case of Course #2, squid ink tortellini, we tried to create music that imitated the shape of squid tentacles and ocean waves.


There are also numerous residual elements to tonight’s menu: the dashi left behind in Course #2 and the bones left behind from the Hamachi Kama in Course #3, to name a couple examples. We saw these elements as a metaphor for leaving things behind in the old year and wanted the music to reflect this, as well.


Finally, since it is New Year’s Eve, we felt the need to create “firework-like” sounds throughout the course of the work. This comes in the form of short bursts and flourishes of sounds, sometimes distorted and often coming out of the overall texture. We feel that there are plenty of “firework-like” elements throughout the five-courses on tonight’s menu.

More info: terroirnewmusic.org