Untogether, Not Apart is a 4-movement chamber concerto commissioned by New Music Works for the 2013-2014 season. It plays off two competing theories as to the etymology of the word concerto: the first is to harmonize or sing together, the other to join in competition or strive against. As a musical genre the concerto typically pits a large ensemble versus a soloist or small group. I tried to explore new ways of thinking about playing together/untogether, while also thinking about the current state of our environment.
Untogether is a slang word that means incompetent or unstable. It is a reference to our inability to be responsible and harmonious citizens of the planet and our ability to ignore the mounting evidence of probable environmental catastrophe. Nonetheless, though we move through the world with little regard for our collective impact, we do coexist with all other life, and are therefore living with them whether we are cognizant of it or not.
This piece was commissioned by New Music Works and premiered in 2014. A pdf of the score is available here.