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Christopher Cerrone

Why Was I Born Between Mirrors?

for chamber ensemble

(2019)
Duration8'
CommissionCo-commissioned by Latitude 49, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and Sentieri selvaggi
PremiereWorld Premiere: May 17, 2019; Stage 773, Chicago, Il; Latitude 49

Premiere of Revised Version with Flute; July 12, 2019; City Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA; Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble • Kevin Noe, artistic director

European Premiere; February 1, 2020; Museo M9, Mestre, Italy; Sentieri selvaggi • Carlo Boccadoro, conductor
InstrumentationFlute (or Soprano Sax)
Clarinet (doubling bass clarinet)
Violin
Cello
Piano
Percussion
[4 Suspended Enameled Flower Pots (G#4, A4, B4, C5)
—as resonant and in tune sounding as possible
Vibraphone
3 Crotales (A#4, B4, C5), sounding two octaves higher]
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

“Why Was I Born Between Mirrors?” is the penultimate sentence in Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station. The novel is about an American author living abroad in Spain, trying to find his own voice through the act of translating Spanish poems into English. The original phrase ¿Porque naci entre espejos? comes from a poem by Federico Garcia Lorca, “Canción del naranjo seco” and my title is Lerner’s translation.

I’d been thinking how the act of translation is very similar to the act of transposition in music as I began composing this sextet. On the surface, they are straightforward operations. However, when a musical idea is shifted out of its original register or instrumental context, the results are often surprising and unpredictable. This is particularly true in my piece: Mirrors utilizes the inherently unstable sounds of a prepared piano (in this case, metal screws inserted between the strings) and clay flower pots—unconventional instruments whose sound worlds are not uniform or consistent. Therefore, moving musical ideas up or down a step produces strikingly different results, just as the act of translating words from another language inevitably changes their meaning (for better or worse).

The title also refers to the form of the piece, in which the “meat” of the work occurs between mirrored sections of music. It begins and ends with an undulating tremolo on the flower pots; moving inward, there is a rhythmic section for prepared piano, and at the center is a gentle and lamenting chorale, expressing the core of the work at its simplest: two notes, a third apart, trying to connect to one another.

– Christopher Cerrone

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Types of Products

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Score and part (Print)

Score and part (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Choral Booklet (Print)

Choral Booklet (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Study Score (print) (Print)

Study Score (print) (Digital)

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Digital)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)