Obsidian Soliloquy

for cimbalom and theorbo

duration: 12 minutes

commissioned by John Astaire

premiered by John Astaire and Kevin Kishimoto in March, 2006 in Bloomington, Indiana

In 2005, percussionist John Astaire had asked me if I would be interested in writing a piece for cimbalom.  He had recently aquired an instrument and was very interested in new pieces being written for it.  I was studying renaissance lute at the time, and one of John’s best friends, Kevin Kishimoto, was a lutenist and theorbo player.  I thought the sound combination of these two instruments would be something utterly unique, and as John was excited to work on a piece with Kevin, I decided to write a duet.  The piece is split into three continuous movements:  dirge, chant (with bells), and gigue. It incorporates all of my experience with early music, as well as some rock and pop influences, to achieve a sound I have never heard in any other piece of music.  As far as I know, no one in the history of music has written anything for these two instruments together.