Tudo Bem? Tudo Bom?

flute, bassoon, and piano
ca. 10 minutes
performed here by Trio Chiaroscuro





Tudo Bem? Tudo Bom? is an informal but affectionate greeting exchanged between two people in Brazilian Portuguese. (Though it doesn’t have quite the same ring, the English equivalent would be something akin to a Tony Soparno-inflected “how you ‘doin?”) I was inspired to apply the Portuguese as a title to my piece from the games of phone tag my wife and I end up playing while we’re traveling. When we finally catch up with each other, there’s a curious tension that arises from the urgency of sharing: in the midst of our talking, we’re both filling in the silence with as much detail as possible. (a conversational capoeira, maybe?) As the musical activity in the faster sections started coming together, I couldn’t get away from this analogy when thinking about the music. (The slight variance between bem and bom also reminded me of the imitative writing) While the piece isn’t intended to be programmatic or a linear story, maybe the slower, more ritualistic kinds of music in the middle stand for our togetherness (the almost-unison lines), but also, in the solitude and sadness of it, for our separation.

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