Tonight, premiere of Poke, tomorrow night, performance of Child’s Play.  But the majority of my attention is focused on this coming Tuesday night, when our students will unveil nine new pieces:

A Thousand Pictures – Alicia Willard

First Snow – Kenneth Florence

The Devil and Tom Walker – Colin Laursen

Mystic Willows – Bruce Tippette

The Degradation of the Orchestra – Lucas Grant

Duo – Noah Ferguson

Burning of the Sky – Zachary Polozune

Wormhole – Michael Anderson

Reign-Man – Ted Oliver

The rehearsal process has been full of the requisite leaps and stumbles one expects in the process of any premiere, times nine.  If most of the elements fall in place for tomorrow’s dress rehearsal, we’ll be in good shape.

Meanwhile, Poke.  Subtitled a bagatelle on anti-social media, it’s scored for cello and double bass, with a running (spoken) dialogue between the two musicians as they play, an argument taking place across various technological formats.  Over the course of the piece, the two “text”, “friend” and “like” one another with increasing fury, as their virtual exchanges completely obliterate their real lives in a comic turn on the dark underbelly of our online politesse.  For the performers, it’s a virtuosic tightrope walk — I’m looking forward to seeing Low and Lower keep it aloft tonight.

And Child’s Play, from five years ago, will surely give me a wave of nostalgia tomorrow night. It was composed when my first son was a toddler.  At the time, I was astonished by the way he could veer from being quietly charming one moment to downright dangerous the next. The piece shifts gears the way a toddler walks — in fits and jerks, wobbling uncertainly, then suddenly careening off the walls.  Nice write-up about it in the Winston-Salem Journal here.  I’m expecting the Carolina Chamber Players to put it safely to bed.

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